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Cuban Public Health Authorities Fighting Conjunctivitis

 The Cuban public health authorities are on alert due to an outbreak of Epidemic Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis, an eye ailment that usually increases its incidence in from September to December

Since the end of May, cases of conjunctivitis are being reported from all Cuba around.

The provinces with most cases reported are Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and Havana, however there are patients diagnosed in the rest of the provinces.

Francisco Duran Garcia, national director of the Department of Epidemiology of the Cuban Public Health Ministry (MINSAP), told reporters that the disease is a virus, affecting all ages, and is expanding as an epidemic.

‘Is is very contagious. It quickly passes from one person to another by direct or indirect contact with the exudation of infected eyes, through the hands or personal objects, secretion of respiratory organs or the water of pools with insufficient chlorine,’ he explained.

Duran Garcia emphasized the people must go immediately to the doctor in case symptoms of eye irritation, sensibility to light, edema from the eyelids and reddening of the eyes.

If the ill person does not go to the doctor for medical care during the first five days of the disease (the period in which it is transmissible) compromises his own well-being and of others close to him 

Since 2016 an epidemic sprout of the virus persists in countries of the region, mainly in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, according to the Cuban website Infomed.

Conjunctivitis is more frequent in coastal areas of tropical countries with high temperatures and humidity, and it presents a bigger occurrence during rainy seasons.

The virus was identified for the first time in Ghana in 1969, but in Cuba the first cases were detected in August 1981, since then, the Caribbean nation reports six epidemics of the illness, the last one in 2003.



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