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MOH Registers 954 Cases of Red Eye Outbreak


The Ministry of Health, led by Director General of Health Services Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze, has confirmed an outbreak of conjunctivitis, commonly known as red eyes, with a total of 954 cases as of Wednesday, March 13.

In a statement released on Thursday, Dr. Kyabayinze disclosed that the outbreak had been detected in several schools in the capital city, as well as in eight prison facilities across the country, including Luzira Upper Prison, Murchison Bay, Kasanda, Kaweeri, Lira Main Prison, Erut, Pader, and Kampala Remand.

Out of the 954 cumulative cases, there have been 353 new cases reported. However, joint surveillance efforts between the Kampala City Council Authority and Ministry of Health teams are ongoing.

“Currently, there have been 790 cumulative cases diagnosed in the affected prison facilities, out of which 711 individuals have recovered, resulting in a recovery rate of 90%,” the statement reads.

To contain the spread of the disease, the ministry, with support from partners, has implemented various measures, including promoting personal hygiene, sanitation activities in affected schools, strengthening surveillance in Kampala, managing and treating affected individuals, public sensitization about the disease and preventive measures, and training health workers to investigate and respond to the eye disease.

Red eye disease is characterized by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane covering the white part of the eyeball and lining the eyelids. The highly contagious disease can be caused by viral infections, seasonal allergies, bacterial infections, and reactions to eye medications.

Viral conjunctivitis can spread through direct contact, sharing personal items such as pillowcases, facial contact, or sharing eye drops or glasses. This contagious phase typically lasts for 10-12 days, with the disease expected to persist for up to three weeks.

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Symptoms during this period may include redness in the white part of the eye or inner eyelid, increased tears, thick yellow discharge over the eyelashes, itching, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. These symptoms can be managed through self-restriction and proper medication.

Dr. Kyabayinze urged the public to remain calm but vigilant, advising them to report all suspected cases to the nearest health center for further assistance.

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