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Pink eye outbreak hits Karonga

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Karonga District Council has announced an outbreak of pink eye disease in the district.  

Pink eye, also known as viral conjunctivitis, is a disease which affects the eyes and is caused by a virus that can easily spread from person to person.

Signs and symptoms of the disease include pink or red colour in the white part of the eye, swelling of the conjunctiva (eye lining), increased tear production, itching, eye discharge, painful eye and visual disturbance.

According to a memo released Tuesday by Director of Health Services in Karonga, Dr David Sibale, 109 cases have been registered across the district since February 1, 2024.

In an interview, Dr. Sibale said the disease was first detected among travellers who use Songwe Border Post.

Dr Sibale: The disease was first detected among travellers at Songwe border

“Later, the disease was also detected among government officials who work at Songwe Border Post and, currently, we have intensified awareness of the outbreak to prevent its spread.

“People should avoid sharing personal clothes such as wash clothes and hand towels, wash hands frequently with soap and use sanitisers as well as avoid rubbing or touching eyes with unclean hands,” Sibale said.

In a separate interview, Traditional Authority (TA) Karonga advised Karonga residents to follow guidelines outlined by the district health office to end the disease and prevent it from spilling over to other districts.

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