Kilifi’s Department of Health Services has issued an alert warning Kenyans of an outbreak of a new disease affecting the eyes.
The department through a notice released on Tuesday, informed the public of an increased number of Red Eye Disease incidences recorded in the Coastal region.
The illness impacts the eyes, leading to redness and swelling, and patients may have discomfort due to a mucus discharge, making it unpleasant for those infected.
“I just came from the hospital, I look miserable, it started with feeling like sand in the eye, and by morning my right eye was stuck shut with a white discharge, opening the eyes was painful,” one patient ailing from the disease told journalists on Tuesday.
Medical staff in protective suits in a hospital.
Health officials in Mombasa have also declared it an alarm, as the number of people seeking treatment for the same disease is increasing by the day.
Health specialists have noted that the disease is caused by bacteria and viruses spread through the air.
Contact with infected people, especially in instances such as handshakes has been proven to spread the disease as well.
Personal experiences reveal the rapid spread of the infection, with people close to colleagues and roommates of infected persons experiencing severe symptoms within days.
To protect oneself and others from the Red Eye Disease, health officials advise regular washing of hands, especially after coming in contact with infected people.
Experts also advise adults to help children wash their hands as well, and avoid handshakes with infected or non-infected people.
Others include; avoiding the use of the same eye products with infected people, avoiding the use of contact lenses unless prescribed by an ophthalmologist, and avoiding the use of eye products such as make-up for the infected eye for the uninfected one.
The Ministry of Health in Tanzania on January 15 released a notice advising its citizens to take extra precaution after 869 cases of the Red Eye Disease were reported.
The Director of Medical Services in the East African country Paul Ruggajo noted severe headache, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and head as additional symptoms in severe cases.
“The government is closely monitoring the trend of this disease, we advise citizens to pay attention to hygiene practices,” Ruggajo advised.
A doctor checking a patient’s blood pressure.