XS San Juan: Health Advisory – Conjunctivitis

health services 

HEALTH ADVISORY: Conjunctivitis

27 August 2015

Dear Parents,

We would like to inform you that in the interest of the safety of the entire Xavier community – most especially the students – Xavier School is proactively addressing concerns surrounding the spread of the HFMD and Conjunctivitis. Since there are some cases of infection in our students, the school continues to conduct daily disinfection of the classrooms and comfort rooms as well as common areas like the playground and the canteens.

We would like to share some pertinent medical information/FAQs about CONJUNCTIVITIS (we issued a health bulletin on HFMD earlier):

What is Conjunctivitis/ Sore eyes?

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink/ sore eye, is an infection of the conjunctiva (the outer-most layer of the eye that covers the sclera). The three most common types of conjunctivitis are: allergic, viral, and bacterial. Each condition requires different treatments. With the exception of the allergic type, conjunctivitis is contagious.

The most common type of conjunctivitis is due to a viral infection. It may be associated with an upper respiratory tract infection, cold, or sore throat. The allergic type occurs more frequently among those with allergic conditions. When related to allergies, the symptoms are often seasonal. Allergic conjunctivitis may also be caused by intolerance to substances such as cosmetics, perfume, or medications. Bacterial conjunctivitis is often caused by bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus. The severity of the infection depends on the type of bacteria involved.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis?

The different types of conjunctivitis all present with redness of the eye. Allergic conjunctivitis may present with swelling of the eyelids as well. It is difficult to differentiate the type of conjunctivitis by physical exam alone. Your doctor can refer you to an ophthalmologist, who can examine the eye using a slit lamp microscope. In some cases, cultures are taken to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection.

How do you treat conjunctivitis?

The appropriate treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Cool compresses and artificial tears may relieve discomfort in mild cases. There is no specific treatment for viral conjunctivitis except for rest. Bacterial conjunctivitis may be treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments that cover a broad range of bacteria. It is advisable to consult your physician before using any type of medication.

How do we prevent conjunctivitis?

To avoid spreading infection, take these simple steps:

  • Avoid touching the eyes/face
  • Wash hands frequently; avoid shaking hands
  • Don’t share towels or washcloths
  • Do not reuse handkerchiefs (using a tissue is best)
  • Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs and counters with diluted bleach solution
  • Don’t swim (some bacteria can be spread in the water)

How can we help the school in its efforts to minimize the spread of HFMD and Conjunctivitis?

To prevent infecting other people in the community, a student or employee suspected or diagnosed with HFMD or conjunctivitis should do the following:

  • Strictly observe the quarantine period.
  • Do not go to school or work if you have contracted the disease.
  • Secure a medical clearance from your doctor prior to returning to school.
  • Present this to the Clinic/Infirmary so you can be cleared to go back to class or work.

Your full cooperation will be crucial in ensuring the health and safety of our school community.

Thank you.

(sgd.)

ANN MARIE TAN-TING

Medical Coordinator

XS-CSMC Health Services

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