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Ministry of Health Warns about Pink Eye Outbreak in Provinces

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Health detailed preventative measures as pink eye infections spread in some of Cambodia’s provinces.

On October 18, the Ministry issued a statement highlighting the symptoms of conjunctivitis in which the white part of the eye becomes pink, red or swollen, especially in the morning. Those infected experience watery eyes, inflammation, itchiness, irritation and sometimes pus coming from the infected area.

Pink eye is caused by a virus that can be mixed with the common cold or other respiratory illnesses. The infection initially spreads from one eye and can spread to the other within a few days.

 It is highly contagious from person to person, but can be managed with good hygiene. The Ministry instructed people to wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds, or to use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap is unavailable. Clean hands are especially important before and after applying eye drops or ointment.

Patients should avoid touching or rubbing their eyes to prevent further irritation and the spread of the disease. With clean hands, people should wash any discharge from around their eye several times a day using a clean, wet washcloth or fresh cotton ball. Throw away cotton balls after use, and wash used washcloths with hot water and detergent, then wash their hands again with soap and warm water. Households with pink eye should also wash pillows, blankets, mattresses and towels frequently in hot water and soap.

The Ministry of Health says that most cases of conjunctivitis are mild, and the infection usually goes away in seven to 14 days without the need for treatment and without long-term complications.

In some cases, viral eye infections take two to three weeks or more to heal. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics, such as eye drops or ointments to reduce the duration of infection and the risk of spreading it to others.

For more information, citizens can contact the Ministry of Health's hotline number 115 for free or contact the Ministry of Health at: 012 488 981 or 012 836 868.



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