CAIRO: There is no need to shut down schools after the conjunctivitis outbreak, also referred to as pinkeye, official Middle East News Egypt (MENA) reported Sunday, citing Minister of Health Hatem Al-Gabaly.Al-Gabaly said that the illness tends to disappear in winter time during a cabinet meeting where he was presenting a report on the spread of the illness, emphasizing the recent spread in the Dakahliya governorate.
Al-Gabaly further pointed out that the main reason behind the phenomenon is the the black cloud stemming from rice straw burning, which cause high rates of pollution.
Health ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shahine said in a statement Sunday that the total number of cases infected with the disease across Egypt amounts to 1,831 — 1,703 in Dakahliya, 92 in Port Said, and 36 in Damietta.
The cases, Shahine said, involve 1,402 students.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or an infection of the transparent membrane, conjunctiva, that lines the eyelid and part of the eyeball.
The inflammation causes small blood vessels in the conjunctiva to become more prominent, which causes the pink or red cast to the whites of a person’s eyes.
The cause of pinkeye is commonly a bacterial or viral infection, or an allergic reaction. It rarely affects one’s eye sight.
Viral and bacterial pinkeye are contagious and can spread easily.