Categorized | National News

Precautions to Prevent Pink Eye

DUANE_SANDSAn outbreak of conjunctivitis or pink eye, the popular term, has been a major concern over the past few weeks as word of the illness made waves over the internet last week with persons being cautioned to practice good hand hygiene.

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands has indicated that the best way to deal with the illness is to continuously wash or sanitize hands during this epidemic.

“The public service announcement released by my Ministry of Health yesterday, that acknowledges what has already been perceived by the public and that is that there is an outbreak of what we call pink eye or conjunctivitis,” Dr. Sands said.

“While there are some public health issues related to the spread of this very contagious problem, for the most part, although the conjunctivitis is uncomfortable, the threat to eyesight in the absence of damage to the cornea is not great.

“The public is advised that the best protection against conjunctivitis is effective and hygiene, wash your hands.”

Dr. Sands also noted that proper hygiene should be taken into consideration and suggested that if the traditional way for washing hands cannot be done at any given time, then other options must be used.

“If you don’t have the ability to wash your hands with soap and water then use an alcohol based sanitizer that you can get commercially at any pharmacy or food store.

In addition to cautioning adults, Dr. Sands warned that parents should also pay attention to young children, while fostering a sense of proper hygiene practices in them.

“In particular, you need to pay attention to your children as you know children will constantly put their hands in their mouths or in their eyes, or their nose,” he said.

“And while it is impossible to stop a child from doing that, you can certainly try to encourage them to wash their hands as frequently as possible.”

Dr. Sands made these comments as officials have noticed a sudden jump in the number of conjunctivitis [pink eye] cases in recent years, specifically in the summer months between May and July.

The Ministry of Health also released an official press statement advising the public of the increase in the illness.

The statement went on to offer instructions that should be followed in order to avoid the spread of pink eye.

“Conjunctivitis is easily spread from one person to another. To prevent the spread, persons are encouraged to do the following: practice frequent hand washing, avoid shaking hands with others, and keep your hands away from your face.

“Change your pillowcase and towels daily, avoid sharing products such as make-up, and wash cloth,  stay away from work, school and public places until the infection clears, use medication as prescribed by your physician.

“Persons experiencing the above symptoms and believe they have been exposed to conjunctivitis are asked to see their healthcare provider or the nearest community clinic,” the statement said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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