COIMBATORE: With the cases of conjunctivitis, commonly called Madras eye and Pink eye infection, rising in the State, doctors have advised people to frequently wash their hands and eyes using water.
According to sources, over 4,000 cases of Madras eye are being reported daily across the State and TN Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said around 1.5 lakh individuals were infected over the past week. Speaking to TNIE, CMCH Dean Dr A Nirmala said, “On average, around 10 to 15 Madras Eye cases are reported in our hospital every day. We have been getting mixed patients and there is no particular age group of people infected with pink eye. The cases have spiked due to the monsoon season and people need not panic over it.”
Dr Sathian Nagamalai, Director of Eye Trust Hospital and president of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Coimbatore said the spike in Madras Eye infections in November and December is common and people should not panic.
“During COVID-19, people used to wear masks, maintain social distancing and wash their hands frequently, due to which the cases of Madras eye had gone down. But the cases have increased now because the people have abandoned the precautions,” he added.
Sathian also said the infection doesn’t spread by looking directly into an infected person’s eye and it’s a myth. Explaining preventive measures, he said, “Washing the hands regularly, avoiding touching the eyes and avoiding touching unclean spots in public places are must to stay safe from a pink eye infection.”
“People experiencing symptoms must immediately visit the hospital, consult with an ophthalmologist and refrain from buying on-counter eye drops from pharmacies on their own,” the doctor added.
Officials from the health department said the infection is not as widespread as in other parts of the State.
K Nedumaran, Joint director of health services, said, “Salem has cases of Madras eye due to the rainy season, but the cases are not widespread. Appropriate treatment is given to those who come to hospitals with this disease and it will heal in four to five days.”
According to officials from the Join Director of Medical Services, on average, one or two cases of Madras Eye infection are reported from GHs and over five cases are reported from urban areas daily..
Health officials reported that most of the infected people are school-going children in the age group of five to 15 years. “We are spreading awareness about social distancing and washing hands to the children,” they said, adding that special treatment centres have been set up in Opthalmology wards in GHs across the district.
(With inputs from Salem & Dharmapuri)