The Ministry of Health has urged members of the public to be on heightened alert to identify, control and prevent the spread of conjunctivitis – commonly called “red’eye”, especially among children under the age of five.
The Ministry has said that the disease is highly contagious and lasts from 2 days to 3 weeks.
The alert follows reports from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) earlier this week that there had been outbreaks of red eye in the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Guadeloupe and Martinique.
” In light of the increased transmission in our neighbouring states of Martinique and Guadeloupe and considering the frequent travel to and from these states, the Ministry increased surveillance and is currently implementing control measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” National Epidemiologist, Nahum Jn Baptiste said.
Jn Baptiste has advised members of the public to practice personal hygiene – especially hand hygiene and washing and avoid contact with discharges from the eyes or the upper respiratory tracts of infected persons.
The National Epidemiologist has also advised that persons should seek medical treatment for affected eyes.
He said that schools, nurseries and other institutions are advised to call the Epidemiology Services Department to report cases of red eye at 4685380 within 24 hours and not to allow infected children to attend school until they get well.