Govt issues alert over red eyes outbreak

TANZANIA: THE Ministry of Health has urged members of the public to take precautionary measures following the outbreak of red eye disease.

Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health, Prof Pascal Ruggajo said on Monday that the disease known medically as conjunctivitis has spread in Dar es Salaam, Coast and Dodoma regions.

He urged citizens to take various precautions, including avoiding touching their eyes with their hands, washing hands with clean water and soap, and maintaining overall hygiene to prevent the further spread of the disease.

He said the disease has no specific treatment and typically resolves within two to six weeks, depending on the individual and advised the people not to use unverified medications to avoid further complications.

“The government is closely monitoring the trend of this disease and continues to provide warnings. As we have mentioned, we advise citizens to pay attention to hygiene practices, which involve avoiding contact when sneezing, touching the eyes and washing with running water and soap.”

Based on assessments conducted in various regions, Prof Lugajo reported that there were already reports from Dar es Salaam, Coast and Dodoma regions.

In Dar es Salaam, there has been an increase in new patients, with 869 cases compared to only 17 cases in December last year.

Furthermore, Prof Lugajo described the symptoms of the rapidly spreading disease, which include red, itchy, and burning eyes, as well as swelling, sensitivity to light and the presence of white or yellow discharge.

Meanwhile, he noted that some individuals may also experience additional symptoms such as severe headaches, excessive fatigue and swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck.

Recently, social media platforms have circulated reports about the presence of red-eye disease, causing panic among citizens. However, there have been no reports of any deaths related to this disease so far.

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