Minsa declares Pink Eye epidemic

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) has declared an epidemic after 10,646 viral conjunctivitides (commonly referred to as pink eye) cases were reported in Panama.

According to the authorities as of August 1, the majority of cases have been reported in Panama Metro, Colón, and San Miguelito.

Here is a list of the reported cases by province:

Bocas del Toro (67), Colon (3254), Coclé (294), Chiriquí (273), Darién (102), Herrera (178), Los Santos (96), Panama East (246), Panama Metro Panama North (215), Panama West (1207), San Miguelito (2088), Comarca Guna Yala (104), Comarca Ngäbe Buglé (5), Veraguas (119).

According to Itza Barahona de Mosca, director general of Health, the virus can last from three to seven days. "The epidemic has been of low intensity with reports in all regions of health," added the official.

Minsa has emphasized the importance of prevention measures, such as frequent hand washing and the use of disposable tissues."We recommend the population not to self-medicate, rather to attend a doctor," said Israel Cedeño, director of Epidemiology of the Minsa.

Do not not use antibiotics or anti-inflammatories, unless it is prescribed by doctors and refrain from going to work, schools or social events if experiencing symptoms.

Pink Eye Symptoms:

• Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
• Increased amount of tears
• Thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes, especially after sleep
• Green or white discharge from the eye
• Itchy eyes
• Burning eyes
• Blurred vision
• Increased sensitivity to light