Mangaluru, Nov 13: The health department has warned schools to be cautious in the wake of increase in cases of conjunctivitis after the rainy season in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada.
Schools have been advised to take precautions to prevent the spread of pink-eye disease among children. Cases of conjunctivitis, inflammation, or infection of the outer membrane of the eyeball and the inner eyelid are being reported at many places across the district. The health department suggested that children stay at home till they are cured.
DHO Dr Kishore Kumar M said that the department has been receiving information about the spread of cases in many schools in the district.
“Parents have also requested that precautions need to be taken in schools. So I have spoken to the deputy director of public instructions to take note of the issue and direct schools to take necessary precautions. We have suggested that schools may grant holidays till children are cured when they are infected with conjunctivitis. In fact, the district started reporting cases ever since the rain stopped,” Dr Kumar explained.
It is difficult to prevent the spread of the infection when one of the family members or a student suffers from it. It spreads most often through direct contact with the eye by hands or objects like towels that are contaminated with the virus or bacteria. So there is a need to avoid direct contact with objects that infected persons have used. Since it also spreads through houseflies, those infected should always wear sunglasses, he said.
He cautioned against the use of coconut oil or any other oils as eye drops for conjunctivitis. All government hospitals have sufficient stock of eye drops required to treat patients with conjunctivitis. In case of severe infection, people should compulsorily consult an ophthalmologist, Dr Kumar added.