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Despite a reported decline in the number of conjunctivitis cases in the south of the island, the Ministry of Health has issued a public caution on how to stem the spread of the infection more commonly known as red eye.

Health officials stress that the most common causes of conjunctivitis are viruses and bacteria. It is very contagious and can spread easily from person to person.

This comes just days before the reopening of the new school year when many parents fear that the threat of exposure to conjunctivitis is heightened.

Among the symptoms of conjunctivitis are eye redness; irritation; itchiness; production of excessive tears clear or yellow discharge that may make the eyelids stick together, especially on mornings; and swelling of the eye lids.

In order to reduce the risk of infection or spreading it to someone else health officials have advised members of the public to: Avoid close contact with persons who have conjunctival symptoms, Avoid touching eyes/facewith dirty hands, Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol based hand-sanitizer. Avoid sharing personal items, such as pillows, washcloths, towels, eye drops, eye makeup, face makeup, makeup brushes, contact lenses and, contact lens containers, or eyeglasses.

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