Conjunctivitis ("pink eye") outbreak in Hanoi, Vietnam, creates problem for hospitals

A large quickly spreading outbreak of conjunctivitis (eye inflammation often called “pink eye”) in Hanoi has resulted in overcrowding of hospitals by worried families. This infection can result from many causes including include viruses, bacteria, allergens, contact lens use (especially the extended-wear type), chemicals, fungi, and certain diseases. The specific cause of this outbreak has not been determined yet, but it is probably due to one of the many viruses that cause conjunctivitis.

There is no specific treatment for this condition other than alleviating some of the itching and irritation. Self-treatment with steroid eye drops may make the condition worse by decreasing the local immune response. Frequent hand washing may reduce the risk of infection.

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