An Outbreak of Conjunctivitis Due to Bacterial Streptococcus Pneumonia - District Sargodha - 2010
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Introduction: In August an outbreak of conjunctivitis was recognized with increased number of conjunctivitis cases coming from Mohala Balochan which is a thickly populated area of poor community in Sahiwal. An investigation team was sent to determine the extent of the outbreak, confirm the cause, indentify modes of transmission, and implement preventive measures.
Methods: A case of conjunctivitis was defined as any resident of Mohallah Balochan having an episode of one or more of the following; red or itchy eyes, pain, edema of the eyelids, morning crusting and exudates from one or both eyes between August 10 to September 30, 2010. Active case finding was done in Mohallah Balochan and the local school. Conjunctival swabs were obtained from almost all the cases. Serotyping and multilocus sequence typing was done for pneumococci. Age and sex matched controls were selected.. A case-control study was conducted to evaluate the possible associations.
Results: A total of 105 cases were identified, 62% (n=65) from the one local school and 38% (n=40) from the community. 77% (n=81) were males. Mean age was 18.95 years (2-55 years). Most significant clinical symptoms were red eyes 84%, exudates 73%, orbital pain 55%, crusting in the morning 48%, eye lid edema 36%. Close contact with cases (OR 7.6) and low socioeconomic status (OR 5.28) showed to be significantly associated. Lab analysis confirmed the causative organism to be S. pneumoniae.
Conclusion: The current outbreak was bacterial in origin and occurred in a poor community. Health education was recommended regarding frequent hand washing, isolation of affected cases and prompt treatment of cases. The number of cases dropped sharply after health education and distribution of IEC materials.
Key words: Outbreak, conjunctivitis, S. pneumonia, health education