‘Pink Eye’ cases rise to 11,000 in Kashmir valley
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‘Pink Eye’ cases rise to 11,000 in Kashmir valley

Anantnag & Pulwama districts worst affected

Post by M Peerzada on Monday, August 28, 2023

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Srinagar, Aug 27:  
In a concerning development, the Kashmir Valley has witnessed a significant increase in conjunctivitis cases, with more than 11,000 confirmed cases of 'Pink Eye' reported. The surge has been most pronounced in the Anantnag and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir.
According to data released by the Directorate of Health Services Jammu, the reported cases in the Kashmir valley have reached a staggering 11,106, and this number continues to rise on a daily basis. 
The breakdown of cases is as follows: 1783 cases have been reported from Anantnag, 1654 from Pulwama, 981 from Bandipora, 1616 from Baramulla, 1193 from Budgam, 482 from Ganderbal, 572 from Kulgam, 657 from Kupwara, 881 from Shopian, and 1287 from Srinagar district.
Dr Mir Mushtaq, the spokesperson for the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, assured that the health department has implemented various measures to control the rapid spread of conjunctivitis. He shared that the health facilities, especially the Outpatient Departments (OPDs) in rural and tertiary care hospitals, are experiencing an influx of cases as people seek medical attention.
Dr. Mushtaq further explained, "We have established a robust surveillance system to monitor conjunctivitis cases, identify patterns, and swiftly detect outbreaks. Healthcare providers have been strongly encouraged to promptly report cases to ensure accurate data collection."
Meanwhile, medical experts are attributing this concerning trend to persistent rainfall, high humidity, waterlogging, and other favourable conditions for the spread of viruses and bacteria. The Government Medical College Srinagar's ophthalmology department recently issued an advisory urging the public to take precautions and maintain proper hygiene to curb the spread.
The advisory highlighted that conjunctivitis spreads primarily through direct contact with eye secretions of infected individuals. Contrary to misconceptions, wearing dark goggles does not prevent its transmission, nor does it spread by mere eye contact with an infected person. The department emphasized the importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water, as well as disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
The advisory also suggested a series of preventive measures, including refraining from touching or rubbing one's eyes, avoiding sharing personal items, abstaining from wearing contact lenses, steering clear of crowded places and swimming pools, and maintaining overall personal hygiene.
To raise public awareness, the DHSK has launched comprehensive campaigns to educate individuals about conjunctivitis, its symptoms, modes of transmission, and preventive strategies. The department has initiated contact tracing measures to identify and notify individuals who have been in close proximity to confirmed cases. This proactive approach aims to prevent further transmission and facilitate early detection of new cases.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as Eye Flu or pink eye, manifests with symptoms such as redness, itching, and a sticky discharge from the eyes. The condition is often caused by allergies or infections that result in inflammation of the conjunctiva—a thin layer covering the white part of the eyeball. This surge in cases is particularly typical during the monsoon season due to the elevated humidity levels and an increased presence of pathogens.

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