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Friday, December 8, 2023

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GHS advocates for regular handwashing to check spread of ‘Apollo’

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has entreated the general public to adhere to regular handwashing practices to combat the rising instances of Acute Haemorrhagic Conjunctivitis, commonly known as Apollo.

Director of Public Health at the GHS, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, revealed that over 50% of reported eye cases at the Police Hospital’s eye clinic, are attributed to Apollo.

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“This is about prevention, how do we ensure that people avoid touching their eyes, and we need to also promote handwashing,” the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service advised.

“Apollo” is an inflammation of the thin, transparent layer (conjunctiva) covering the white part (sclera) of the eye, typically caused by viruses like enterovirus 70 and coxsackie virus A24.

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This viral conjunctivitis spreads rapidly and presents various signs and symptoms, including excessive tearing, significant watery discharges, eye pain, conjunctival redness, eyelid swelling, gritty sensations, and sub-conjunctival hemorrhages.

While Apollo usually resolves on its own, patients may be prescribed eye drops to prevent secondary bacterial infections and mitigate severe inflammatory symptoms associated with conjunctivitis.

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To prevent the spread of this eye condition, individuals are advised against touching or rubbing the eyes, shaking hands, and are encouraged to ensure regular handwashing with soap and water, the use of hand sanitizers, and rubbing alcohol.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Optometric Association has recommended that infected individuals stay away from schools, workplaces, or social gatherings.

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