Virus disease: Aggressive "eye flu" in circulation
In the autumn months there are frequent cases of highly contagious conjunctivitis, which is popularly referred to as "eye flu". Experts explain how to protect yourself against the virus disease.
Virus spreads particularly well in autumn
Doctors in Austria have reported increasing cases of highly contagious eye infections in recent weeks. Since the viruses that lead to the infection spread particularly widely in autumn, an increase in the virus disease, which is popularly known as "eye flu", can also be expected in the coming weeks and months. Experts explain how to avoid infection.
Itchy and red eyes
The eye flu is likely to spread in the autumn months. Affected people suffer from red, watery and itchy eyes.
In addition, the eyes are also afraid of light. This aggressive form of conjunctivitis is triggered by a highly contagious adenovirus.
According to information from the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), adenoviruses are "a pathogen group that triggers a variety of diseases, including the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract or conjunctiva and cornea. The viruses are highly contagious and resistant. "
According to experts, the long incubation period of up to twelve days is also tricky. The virus is also environmentally resistant.
Wash your hands regularly
Most of the time, the viruses in the tear fluid are spread through the hands on which pathogens adhere. To protect yourself from infection, certain measures should be taken:
The most important hygiene rule is hand washing. This is especially true if you have touched the eyes with your hands.
In addition, people who live with patients should always use their own towels and other hygiene items such as washcloths.
Working or visiting community facilities such as schools or kindergartens is taboo during the inflammation. Sick people should stay at home until the symptoms have subsided.
Inflammation usually subsides on its own
If there is an infection, redness appears on one or both eyes at the beginning, followed by swelling of the conjunctiva. Affected people have a foreign body sensation in the eye.
The eye itches, tears and reacts sensitively to light. Eyelid swelling and enlargement of the lymph nodes in front of the ear often develop.
In some cases, the inflammation can spread to the cornea of the eye after about a week.
The conjunctivitis usually resolves itself after two to four weeks, but slight clouding of the cornea may persist for some time.
As a rule, the contagious conjunctivitis and corneal inflammation heals completely and without consequences.
Sick people should see an ophthalmologist
A causal treatment against the virus is not available. Only the complaints can be alleviated. Sick people should consult an ophthalmologist.
Conventional home remedies for conjunctivitis, such as chamomile tea, are often discouraged for eye flu or recommended to be used only after consulting a doctor.
Treatment with antibiotics is also inappropriate, as these have no effect on viruses.
The origin of the adenovirus is so far unclear. Researchers assume that it does not come from humans, but from animals.
A few years ago, doctors from the United States reported that adenoviruses had been shown to be transmitted from monkeys to humans for the first time.
At that time, experts recommended that adenoviruses be monitored more carefully in the future in order to draw attention to possible dangers for humans in good time. (ad)