As the sequel of the northeast monsoon, Tamil Nadu has been fluttered with the growing menace of Conjunctivitis, which is commonly known as 'Madras Eye', as the cases with this infection have been soaring steadily for the past few days. In the midst of multi-folded cases, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian has warned the state that the increasing cases pose a cause of worry.
While addressing the reporters on Monday - November 21, Subramanian said that the Madras Eye cases are getting registered since the first week of September. He highlighted that the ophthalmology centers in ninety government hospitals including government medical college hospitals and district government hospitals are getting around 4000 to 4500 cases every day and said nearly 1.5 lakh people have got treated since the start of the northeast monsoon.
As far as Chennai is concerned, the city has ten state-run eye hospitals and over 80 to 100 cases with Madras Eye visiting these hospitals every day. By warning the people not to avail of any self-medication for the disease, the health minister appealed to those who are infected to consult doctors as the infection will spread easily and affect others. The state's health department said that most of the infections were caused by enteroviruses and adenoviruses after some samples from the patients in Egmore hospital were put to test.
Ma Subramanian said, "It (Madras Eye) will easily spread to others. The people who are infected with this infection should isolate themselves and they should also refrain from going to crowded places including offices, educational institutions, and malls for three to four days." He further said, "Patients should not do self-medication and should get prescribed treatment from the doctors".
"The patients should not be using the same eye drops that were prescribed to one of the family members, who got infected with the disease for the first time. The rate of infection will remain the same till the first week of December and it will subside during the second week of the coming month", he added.
Why it is called Madras Eye and its symptoms
Also known as Pink Eye, the disease was first identified in Madras in 1918, through which it has derived its colloquial name. The infection is common when there is a transition from summer to monsoon. Clinically called Conjunctivitis, Madras Eye is majorly caused by the adenovirus, which also causes fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, and body ache.
The common symptoms of the disease include itching, redness in one or both eyes, a gritty feeling, irritation, pully eyes, or watery eyes. The infection would subside in days and the people will have a cure in seven to fourteen days. Some of the basic etiquette that can be followed to stop the spread include - changing pillowcases and sheets every day, using a fresh towel, washing hands frequently and after touching the affected eyes, and restraining using the contact lenses until eyes are back to normal.