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Times of India
02 October 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Pune, India

Number Of People Complaining Of The Condition 10 To 12 Per Day: Experts
Erratic weather conditions and fluctuating temperature in the city is again leading to an increasing number of conjunctivitis cases after a brief lull, said experts here on Friday.

Conjunctivitis Cases On The Rise
Ophthalmologist Jeevan Ladi told TOI, "The initial outbreak of conjunctivitis in large numbers in the first half of September was primarily a seasonal epidemic. Later, the cases declined due to the tapering virulence of the adenovirus that causes conjunctivitis.”

During the lull period, the number of people complaining of the condition had declined to two to three per day, which has gone up to around 10 to 12 over the last three to four days, he added. "At present, the high fluctuation in temperature is what is aiding the adenovirus to grow and multiply. Usually, the adenovirus remains strong for the first three weeks of an outbreak. Later, its virulence starts to decrease. However, the current erratic weather condition has revived the virulence of the adenovirus.”

Jignesh Taswala, president of Pune Ophthalmology Society – which has more than 400 city ophthalmologists attached to it, said, "Conjunctivitis cases seem to have made a comeback. The virus is resistant to alcohol–based based chemicals and sterilisers, like spirit, but is susceptible to sodium hydroxide, which is present in common bathing soaps as well as handwash liquids and soaps.”

"Other epidemic outbreaks – like dengue, malaria and viral infections – can corroborate the virulence and support the growth of the adenovirus and other systemic illnesses,” said Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of the Indian Medical Association.

Meanwhile, following a spurt in cases of conjunctivitis, patients and doctors are complaining that there is a seeming shortage of eye drops in the market, said general practitioner Avinash Bhondwe. "Many of my patients are complaining that they are not getting eye drops.”

Mahendra Pitaliya, chief co–ordinator of the Chemists Association of Pune district, said, "Since there is an increase in cases of conjunctivitis, the supply may be falling a little short of the demand, but there is no glaring shortage of eye drops in the market.”

Can one prevent the infection by putting eye drops?
Eye drops do not prevent viral conjunctivitis. It is better to take precautions and seek medical advice

How is the condition treated?
If a virus is causing conjunctivitis, antibiotic drops will not help. The eye infection will get better as the body fights off the virus. But you may need treatment for redness, swelling, pain and inflammation

DOs DON’Ts Symptoms
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