Acute Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis (AHC), commonly known as “Apollo” in Ghana and some other regions, is a highly contagious viral eye infection.
It primarily affects the conjunctiva, which is the thin, transparent tissue that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids.
The Ghana Optometric Association has observed a surge in the number of ‘Apollo’ cases and has come up with ways to curb the spread.
Here are some key points highlighted by the Ghana Optometric Association on what AHC is and how to prevent or manage it:
1. Causes: AHC is most commonly caused by enterovirus 70 and coxsackievirus A24, both of which belong to the family Picornaviridae.
These viruses are highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person through direct contact with infected eye secretions, contaminated objects, or respiratory droplets.
2. Symptoms: Common symptoms of AHC include sudden onset of redness in the eyes, eye pain, a gritty feeling in the eyes, sensitivity to light (photophobia), excessive tearing, and sometimes, small subconjunctival hemorrhages (bleeding under the conjunctiva also known as bloody eyes).
These symptoms can vary in severity.
· Hygiene: Practicing good hand hygiene is crucial. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after coming into contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or individuals.