In a follow-up on a report of a “pink eye” outbreak in the Dominican Republic, conjunctivitis outbreaks have been documented in five countries and territories of the Americas.
According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in addition to the Dominican Republic, outbreaks are reported in the Bahamas, Brazil, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.
The Dominican Republic has been hit particularly hard, recording a total of 66,626 cases of conjunctivitis were reported through the end of May, representing a 62 percent increase compared with the same period of 2016.
During May 2017, the provinces of Distrito Nacional, San Cristóbal, Santiago, and Santo Domingo reported the highest increases in the number of cases.
A total of 240 cases were reported in the Bahamas since May 2017.
In Brazil, an outbreak of conjunctivitis was reported in the municipality of Humaitá, Amazonas state, with 172 cases being registered between 18 May and 6 June 2017.
On the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, officials are reporting 500 to 600 cases weekly in recent weeks. An increase in cases of conjunctivitis above the epidemic threshold level has been observed since the end of 2016.
Lastly, Martinique is now reporting 250 cases weekly.
PAHO says outbreaks of conjunctivitis in other countries of the Region are under investigation. Within the past week, The Turks and Caicos Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services reported an increase number of cases of conjunctivitis.