About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Conjunctivitis in Mumbai, Donít Be Complacent Say Doctors

by Medindia Content Team on October 5, 2007 at 12:13 PM
Font : A-A+

Conjunctivitis in Mumbai, Donít Be Complacent Say Doctors

A virtual conjunctivitis epidemic is sweeping Mumbai. It is nothing to be complacent about and in fact could lead to paralysis, experts warn.

They recall the metro has a history of conjunctivitis epidemics, some of which resulted in cross-infection and even left patients paralysed.


Conjunctivitis, also known as pink-eye, is an infection caused by a virus or bacteria which causes redness, watering or discharge from the eye.

Often spread through the touch of an infected person, conjunctivitis is affecting large numbers, from schoolchildren to office-goers. But it is also largely self-limiting, and a person can get relief in a week provided he or she takes the right precautions.

"Not many know that the innocuous-seeming virus could show up along with another family of viruses called Enterovirus 70, which causes paralysis in the adult male," said senior neurologist and a former teacher at J J Hospital Noshir Wadia.

The city had in the 70s experienced an epidemic of conjunctivitis, and some of the affected cases showed paralysis-like symptoms. Even as public health experts say that they are closely watching the widespread presence of the eye infection, old-timers are asking for research into the new strains.

"There is a need for public health agencies to study the strain of virus causing the infection on a war footing," said Dr Wadia. Haffkine director Ranjana Deshmukh, whose team had studied the viral strain that caused an epidemic in the city in 1981, too points out that conjunctivitis is contagious and that research is necessary as the infection causes much discomfort to the public.

The city has been reeling under a prolonged assault from the infection. "We began noticing a few sporadic cases in the last week of August and the graph started escalating by mid-September," said senior city health official Jayaraj Thanekar.

He echoes most city ophthalmologists who blame it on the Mumbaikar's refusal to stay at home when downed by the infection. Take Nallasopara resident Vilas Pawar, who contracted conjunctivitis a fortnight ago. "I took eye-drops and returned to work when I got well, but my wife, my college-going daughter and school-going son all got the infection in turn," said Pawar.

"We are seeing two to three patients in a day, but these are the ones who reach a specialist. Others take treatment at home," said Dr S Natarajan of the Aditya Jyot Institute. He suggested that patients should be isolated for the first three days, when the infection is at its most acute.

Dr Thanekar also blamed the widespread occurrence on the population density, besides the city's cramped modes of travel and climatic changes. He also had another word of advice. "Patients should not use eye-drops with steroids at any cost, although they may provide temporary relief."

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Conjunctivitis Blocked Tear Duct Vision Allergy Eye Drops Eye Redness Pink Eye Symptom Evaluation Neonatal Conjunctivitis Eye Allergies / Ocular Allergies 

Recommended Reading
Conjunctivitis is one of the most common no traumatic eye complaint. It is a descriptive term ......
Conjunctivitis - Causes
Distance Education for Conjunctivitis...
Conjunctivitis | Pink Eye - FAQs
Encyclopedia section of medindia give replies to some of the frequently asked questions about ......
Allergy Eye Drops
Eye allergies are treated with different types of eye drops such as lubricants, antihistamines, NSAI...
Blocked Tear Duct
An obstruction in the tear drainage system is known as dacryostenosis. This is a common condition in...
Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye causes redness and soreness of the conjunctiva and is responsible for 1% ...
Eye Allergies / Ocular Allergies
Eye allergy or allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the eyes come in contact with any substance that ...
Eye Redness
Redness of the eye occurs due to the dilation of the blood vessels of the eye. It can occur due to e...
Neonatal Conjunctivitis
Neonatal conjunctivitis occurs in newborn babies during the first month of birth. It can be caused b...
Pink Eye Symptom Evaluation
Pink eye, is the redness in the eye, which is caused due to inflammation of the conjunctiva. Conjunc...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use