Health officials in Nicaragua has reported 1,613 conjunctivitis, or “pink eye” cases in the past week affecting 52 cities across the country, bringing the total cases year-to-date to 11,364, according to an El Nuevo Diario report (computer translated).

Rosario Murillo, vice president of Nicaragua, said that the municipalities most affected by the epidemic are Chinandega, Rivas, Managua León, Bilwi and the Southern Caribbean Region (RACS).

Image/Video Screen Shot
Image/Video Screen Shot

“There is a significant increase in the number of people affected. In 2015 there were 2,206 affected, 2,877 in 2016, and this week only 1,613 cases of conjunctivitis have been reported. We have accumulated this year of 11,364,” he said.

Ophthalmologist, Justina Valle explained to reporters that the conjunctivitis virus spreads faster due to the climatic conditions of the season, dust and wind, as well as poor hygiene practice.

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Pink eye is a common eye ailment caused by an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the clear, thin membrane that covers the white portion of the eyes as well as the inner surface of the eyelids.

The three common causes of pink eye are viral, bacterial and allergic. The symptoms of each form are listed below:

Viral Conjunctivitis Symptoms

• Watery eyes accompanied with discharge are usual.
• Discomfort in the eye with itchiness maybe present.
• The infection usually affects one eye but can move to both.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Symptoms

• Watery eyes followed with yellow or green discharge are natural occurrences.
• Irritation can be found along with an itchy feeling.
• The infection usually starts with one eye and can spread to the other.

Related: Many ‘pink eye’ infections treated unnecessarily with antibiotics: Study

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Allergic Conjunctivitis Symptoms

• Heavy tearing, discomfort, and itchiness affecting both eyes are especially likely.

Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are very contagious. Only bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with antibiotics.

The incubation of the virus takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours.  It is quite contagious and it can be transmitted by direct contact with an infected individual’s secretions, usually hand-eye contact or sharing of personal objects (towels, makeup, etc.).


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