Baramulla, Aug 8: A sudden surge in conjunctivitis cases has alarmed the residents of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district with the outbreak leaving scores of people grappling with the disease.
Known as 'Pink Eye', this eye infection has affected numerous individuals of varying ages, prompting them to seek treatment at local health centres.
The condition, marked by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the white of the eye and inner eyelids, has led to over 150 patients seeking medical attention at the associate hospital of Government Medical College (GMC) Baramulla.
As the cases continue to increase day by day, the growing number has health officials concerned.
Medical Superintendent of the associate hospital of GMC Baramulla, Dr Parvaiz Masoodi said, “We are averaging around 15 patients daily. The case count has risen notably over the past two weeks.”
Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at GMC Baramulla, Dr Shabana Khan explained that the causes of conjunctivitis vary, encompassing viral and bacterial infections, parasitic infestations, and allergies.
While the discomfort associated with conjunctivitis is undeniable, Dr Khan reassured that the condition typically does not pose a threat to one’s vision, with most cases resolving without lasting effects.
“Timely treatment and proper care, however, are essential to avoid complications,” said Dr Shabana Khan. She emphasised that although individuals of all ages could be affected, the young, elderly, and immunocompromised are particularly susceptible.
Dr Khan advocated preventive measures, urging people to maintain good hand hygiene through frequent washing with soap and water. She advised parents to impart this practice to their children, along with discouraging eye rubbing and sharing of towels or washcloths. Additionally, she advised against sharing eye cosmetics and personal eye care items.
Educational institutions are found particularly vulnerable to the outbreak, leading school officials to take action. Schools have been instructed to ensure hygiene and promptly report cases of conjunctivitis to nearby health renters. Parents are encouraged to collaborate with schools in managing affected children's conditions.
Dr Masoodi disclosed that the hospital has launched awareness initiatives to educate the public about 'Pink Eye'. Medical professionals from GMC Baramulla are visiting educational institutions to educate both students and administrators about conjunctivitis and the necessary precautions.
As authorities work diligently to curb the outbreak, the community's proactive response underscores the importance of timely intervention and collective efforts in preventing the further spread of conjunctivitis in Baramulla district.