The number of conjunctivitis cases in Yucatan, until September 21, adds up to 15,480 infections (7,277 men and 8,203 women), a figure that exceeds last year’s record, which was 14,810 cases.
Only in the last epidemiological week, number 38, 280 new cases have been confirmed.
According to specialists, it is likely that the increase has occurred with the “back to school” season, since students, teachers and those working in nurseries, are more likely to be affected by the different types of conjunctivitis, due to the proximity that occurs inside the classrooms.
David Canché Durán, a pediatric surgeon and Public Health specialist, said that the disease spreads more easily, when people travel to other parts of the world.
“With one person infected at an airport or bus terminal, it is enough to spread the disease to several others. Each person infected with conjunctivitis can infect five more, ”he warned.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin transparent covering of the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids (the conjunctiva). Despite being transparent, the conjunctiva contains blood vessels that line the sclera (white part) of the eye.
The specialist explained that any agent that triggers an inflammation will cause dilation of the blood vessels of the conjunctiva, causing red eyes and in some cases “bloody red”.
Types of conjunctivitis
He explained that the main types of conjunctivitis, according to their cause, are: viral conjunctivitis, which is caused by a virus, such as a simple cold. This type of conjunctivitis is very contagious, but usually goes away on its own within a few days, without the need for medical treatment.
The second type is the bacterial conjunctivitis, which can cause serious damage to the eye if left untreated.
And finally, the allergic conjunctivitis, caused by eye irritants such as pollen, dust and animal dander in susceptible individuals. Allergic conjunctivitis can be seasonal (pollen) or appear in outbreaks throughout the year (pet dust and dander).
It is often difficult to distinguish one type of conjunctivitis from another, the only way is to observe the symptoms.
“Some conditions associated with conjunctivitis include other infections of the eye, dry eye and blepharitis. Also, we must bear in mind that bacterial conjunctivitis can lead to serious eye problems such as corneal ulcer, and potential vision loss, ”warned the specialist.
For these reasons, every time you notice that your eyes are red and irritated, you should go see a doctor immediately, and avoid using cheap eye drops, or home remedies that can cause further damage.
The Yucatan Times Newsroom