A Samoa pink eye epidemic has led to educational institutions being shuttered. While not a danger, the outbreak is an irritant alright.
Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is an infection of the lining of the eye that causes redness, inflammation and irritation. While it is not a life-threatening illness, nevertheless the disease can be a nuisance of sorts.
Such an epidemic broke out in US Samoa recently. The region lies somewhere between Hawaii and New Zealand. Over 2,400 pupils and teachers caught the malady and so schools in the region have been closed for a week’s duration.
Even flights have been delayed due to this hitch which has come up. And court sessions too have undergone procrastinations. The disease is basically caused by a viral or bacterial attack on the outer lining of the eyeball and the inner lining of the eyelid.
Among the problems faced by the patient with pink eye are: a crimson eye, increased size of the conjunctiva and the running of tear drops from the eyes.
This strange illness called pink eye is caused by both bacterial and viral versions. And it is highly infectious and can be transferred from one individual to another in a jiffy. The disease can also be caught from dirty devices or murky water.
In particular, viral pink eye has no special remedies and usually resolves itself with the passage of time. About 30% of the educational staff is on leave due to pink eye.
The authorities have passed orders that sick people ought to stay at home till the malady subsides. Especially, children are to be protected from the influence of anyone with pink eye.
“In order to help prevent the further spread of the pink eye virus, we highly recommend that all affected teachers and workers stay home,” Education Department Director Hunkin-Finau said. “Please keep your child out of reach of those that are affected by the pink eye.”
American Samoa is known for its tuna fishing industry as well as the canned product called “Spam”. The latter has been indicted in the rising wave of obesity found in the Pacific Rim region. American Samoa consists of five small islands and two coral atolls. It carries on trade and commerce with the United States.