New Madras Eye Strain Suspected
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15 September 2010
by Revathi Ramanan
A spurt in cases of conjunctivitis that lasts longer than usual has eye specialists in the city wondering if a new strain is in circulation.
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of conjuctiva, the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. It can be caused due to microorganisms like virus, bacteria or protozoa. The new strain has not been identified yet, but hospitals like Sankara Nethralaya are already studying samples.
"Usually, people with such infections are left with a pink eye for three or four days. But the infection that we see now lasts for at least 10 days," said Dr Arulmozhi Varman of Uma Eye Clinic in Anna Nagar. "In some cases, the infection extends over two weeks. We see that such people have a bacterial infection as well. The disease starts as a viral infection but if it stays on longer," he added.
Ophthalmologists said the virus was more virulent this time. They advise the same drug regimen, longer period of rest and hot towel for the eyes.