Bengal is witnessing a sudden surge of cases of "Joy Bangla", meaning conjunctivitis all due to the new strain of Adenovirus. Conjunctivitis or "pink eye" is the swelling or inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, translucent layer of tissue that lines the eyelid and covers the sclera, white part of the eye. The small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become swollen and irritated giving that pinkish or reddish color to the eyes.
Conjunctivitis is caused by viral or bacterial infection or due to an allergic reaction to an allergen, chemicals or for wearing contact lens. Conjunctivitis caused by allergens or irritants is not contagious unless a secondary viral or bacterial infection develops.
- Redness and itchiness in one or both eye.
- Pain or a gritty feeling in one or both eye.
- Blurry vision.
- Constant watering of the eyes.
- Stickiness of the lid.
- Sensitivity to light, called photophobia.
Prevention or measures to take if you are the patient or living with the patient:
-Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
-Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. This can worsen the condition or spread it to your other eye.
-With clean hands, wash any discharge from around your eyes several times a day.
-Do not use the same eye drop dispenser/bottle for your infected and non-infected eyes.
-Stop wearing contact lenses until your eye doctor advises you to wear them again.
-Do not share personal items, such as pillows, towels, eye drops, eye or face makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses, contact lens storage cases, or eyeglasses.
‘Joy Bangla’ is highly contagious and it can spread through contaminated surfaces or skin-to-skin touch. In fact , the cases of conjunctivitis and skin allergies have been originating from the relief camp housing people affected from the flood in Delhi, confirmed by the city health minister. In New Delhi most cases of conjunctivitis this year has been viral conjunctivitis. More than 100 cases a day have been reported to AIIMS, Delhi. Doctors from across the city have said that while this happens every year, this year it has elevated due to the unusual showers, flooding and increased moisture in the atmosphere.