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Thousands affected as eye disease rages across capital

Update: September, 27/2013 - 09:40
A doctor examines a patient who contracted pink-eye disease. The contagious disease is reported to have spread in many provinces across the country in recent days. — VNA/VNS Photo Chi Tuong

HA NOI (VNS)— Pink-eye disease (conjunctivitis) spread rapidly across the city over the past week, according to the Ha Noi Eye Hospital and the Ha Dong Eye Hospital.

Data from the two hospitals showed that a total of nearly 1,200 people contracted conjunctivitis in the last ten days.

The Ha Noi-based hospital is receiving more than 300 patients per day, while Ha Dong Eye Hospital is treating from 50-100 people suffering from eye related problems from both the city and neighbouring provinces, 30 per cent of whom have conjunctivitis.

Vuong Thuy Nga, a resident from Tu Liem District, said her husband and she were forced to take four days off work with conjunctivitis after their two-year-old daughter contracted the disease at kindergarten.

Many schools in the city have informed students and parents about the problem and how to take effective measures to avoid it. At the same time, students with conjunctivitis have been asked to stay at home to stop the disease from spreading.

According to a director from the Ha Dong Eye Hospital, patients' eyesight can deteriorate by 20 per cent if they do not receive the correct treatment. The disease is airborne and can also be contracted through direct contact.

People should clean their eyes with salt water regularly and wear glasses or masks when they're outside, said deputy director of the Ha Noi Eye Hospital Trinh Thi Bich Ngoc.

Infected patients should not share towels, wash-cloths or basins with family members, he said.

Regarding reports about a shortage of medicine to treat the disease, the Ha Noi Department of Health said that the city still had enough medicine for patients.

In addition, the department has requested local hospitals and clinics to consult, examine and treat patients as quickly as possible.

Besides Ha Noi, the disease is also spreading in the central province of Nghe An and the southern provinces of Tra Vinh and Soc Trang.—VNS

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