Red eyes outbreak: 13 suspected cases reported in Arua city schools

Infected person

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Arua City health department is on high alert following a suspected outbreak of conjunctivitis, commonly known as Red Eye disease in some schools.

According to information from Arua City health officials, at least 13 suspected cases of red eye have been registered of which six of the cases meet case definition for the disease.

Dr. Pontius Apangu, the principal health officer for Arua City explains that the suspected cases are students of Arua Technical Institute Ragem located along Arua-Pakwach highway in Ayivu Division. He further notes that they have also received more alerts of suspected Red Eye disease in some schools in Tanganyika ward, Arua Central division. According to Apangu the suspected cases are under isolation and receiving treatment.

“Arua City has registered 13 suspected cases of red eye of students from Ragem Technical and some are in Tanganyika ward,” Dr. Apangu said in a statement.

Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious infection that affects the covering of the eyeball (white part) and the inside of the eyelid. While it is usually caused by a virus, it can also be caused by bacteria, allergens or certain eye medication.

The disease can spread from person to person through hand to eye contact, sharing of personal items, such as towels or pillowcases, facial contact, or sharing eye drops or eyeglasses, according to information from the Ministry of health.

Benard Amaga, the Arua City Health Educator told URN that schools and teachers have been alerted to be vigilant in identifying and reporting suspects while ensuring hand and general hygiene.

“Schools authorities should in the meantime re-activate prevention measures such as frequent handwashing with water and soap”, he said.

The latest development comes nearly fourteen years after an outbreak of Red Eye disease hit more than 10 schools in Arua. Meanwhile, earlier this year, the ministry of health declared an outbreak of conjunctivitis in Kampala, initially reported in schools.

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