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“Madras Eye” infection on rise, with reports of 4000-4500 cases per day in Tamil Nadu

Conjunctivitis, a highly contagious eye infection often known as "Madras Eye," is on the rise, with 4,000–4,500 new cases reported every day in Tamil Nadu, the state's health department has warned.

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Chennai: Conjunctivitis, a highly contagious eye infection often known as “Madras Eye,” is on the rise, with 4,000–4,500 new cases reported every day in Tamil Nadu, the state’s health department has warned. M Subramanian, the state’s health minister, has asked people to isolate themselves from those who are infected.

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The minister stated on Monday that since the beginning of the northeast monsoon, “nearly 1.5 lakh people have been treated for conjunctivitis in Tamil Nadu,” adding that at least 80 to 100 people are diagnosed with conjunctivitis every day in the 10 government ophthalmic centres in the state capital, Chennai. The caseload is higher in some districts, like Salem and Dharmapuri.

“This year’s persistent rain in the city has driven up the case load even further. Adenovirus is responsible for around 90% of cases of conjunctivitis. The affected eye generates a watery discharge resembling tears and is red, itchy, inflamed, and gritty. In some people, it spreads quickly to the second eye. According to Dr Srinivasan G Rao, senior ophthalmologist and regional head of clinical services at the Dr Agarwal Eye Hospital in Chennai; it is rising quickly, especially among children.

According to Dr. Rao, he sees at least 500 patients with conjunctivitis each day. “Every year, when the monsoon season winds down, cases of conjunctivitis show a small spike,” he noted.

Madras Eye, also known as conjunctivitis, typically results from a bacterial or viral infection and spreads quickly among people. Eye secretions allow conjunctivitis to spread. He said, “If a person touches his or her eye, they can spread the infectious germs or virus to another person or object that comes in contact with the fluid.”

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