Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Residents of Virgin Gorda are urged to practice good hygiene to minimise the spread of conjunctivitis as thirty four cases of the infection have been recorded on the island.
Public Health Officer in charge of surveillance, Ms. Athelene Linton said that day-care and pre-school operators are to sanitise toys, utensils and children play area daily to minimise the spread.
“Parents are asked to keep their child or children at home if they have signs and symptoms of the conjunctivitis until the illness has been resolved.” Ms. Linton said, adding, “Reporting sites are also encouraged to report suspected cases to the surveillance Unit to facilitate prevention and control activities.”
Conjunctivitis or pink eye as it is commonly known is an inflammation or infection of the eye, which is caused by a bacterial or viral infection or an allergic reaction.
The most common symptoms are redness and itchiness, in one or both eyes. Other symptoms include swelling of the eye lids, production of excessive tears, clear and a yellow discharge that forms a crust during the night.
The Public Health Officer said proper hygiene is the best way to control the spread of the infection. She is advising persons to avoid touching their eyes with their hands and wash hands thoroughly and frequently. Towels, pillow cases and washcloths are to be changed daily and avoid sharing these items with others, discard eye cosmetics and avoid using anyone else’s eye cosmetics or personal eye care items.
Persons are also urged to see a doctor immediately if they suspect that they have contracted the infection.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.