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13 cases of red eye disease reported in Arua schools

Arua city health department has registered at least 13 cases of conjunctivitis, commonly known as red eye disease among students.

Dr Pontius Apangu, principal health officer for Arua explains that the suspected cases are students of Arua Technical Institute Ragem located along Arua-Pakwach highway in Ayivu division.

He further notes that they have also received more alerts of suspected red eye disease in some schools in Tanganyika ward, Arua Central division. According to Apangu the suspected cases are under isolation and receiving treatment.

Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious infection that affects the covering of the eyeball (white part) and the inside of the eyelid. While it is usually caused by a virus, it can also be caused by bacteria, allergens or certain eye medications.

The disease can spread from person to person through hand-to-eye contact, sharing of personal items, such as towels or pillowcases, facial contact, or sharing eye drops or eyeglasses, according to information from the ministry of Health.

Benard Amaga, Arua city health educator told URN that schools and teachers have been alerted to be vigilant in identifying and reporting suspects while ensuring hand and general hygiene.

“Schools authorities should in the meantime re-activate prevention measures such as frequent handwashing with water and soap”, he said.

The latest development comes nearly fourteen years after an outbreak of red eye disease hit more than 10 schools in Arua. Earlier this year, the ministry of Health declared an outbreak of conjunctivitis in Kampala, initially reported in schools.

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