Date: Thu 24 Aug 2017
Source: Yahoo Noticias [edited]
Nicaraguan health authorities reported an outbreak of conjunctivitis in 52 of the country's 153 municipalities, and 1613 cases were reported in the last week [week of Sun 20 Aug 2017].
The municipalities most affected by the outbreak are located in the departments of Chinandega, Leon, Managua and Rivas, in the Pacific, and in the Autonomous Region of the South Caribbean, according to the report of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), read by Vice President and First Lady Rosario Murillo.
The dignitary warned that there has been a "significant increase in the number people affected" so far this year  and the causes will be studied. She added that there were 2206 cases of conjunctivitis in 2015 and 2877 cases last year .
"Just this week [week of Sun 27 Aug 2017], 1613 cases of conjunctivitis have been reported. We have a cumulative caseload this year [1 Jan 2017 - 24 Aug 2017] of 11,364," more than all cases recorded in 2015 and 2016 together, she warned.
Murillo asked specialists to study the causes and consequences of this sudden increase in cases.
In addition, she asked Minsa to issue a series of recommendations to prevent this disease.
Conjunctivitis is an infection of viral origin that affects the eyes and is transmitted easily from person to person or when touching infected objects.
The symptoms, which last for a week or so, are redness of the eyes, watering, burning, sensitivity to light and the sensation of having a foreign body inside the eye.
[Conjunctivitis is an eye infection where the thin membrane that covers the white of the eye and the interior of the eye lids - the conjunctiva - becomes inflamed. Symptoms include watery eyes, discharge, discomfort, sensitively to light, subconjunctival haemorrhaging, and itchiness.
Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be caused by bacterial or viral infections; only the bacterial version is treatable. It is typically caused by adenovirus, but other viruses have been implicated in conjunctival infection including herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), picornavirus (enterovirus 70, Coxsaskie A24), poxvirus (molluscum contagiosum, vaccinia), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Transmission may occur through accidental inoculation of viral particles from the patient's hands or by contact with infected upper respiratory droplets, fomites, contaminated swimming pools, or allergens in the environment. The infection usually resolves spontaneously within 2-4 weeks. [Excerpted from <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1191370-overview
Numerous other Latin American and Caribbean countries have also been reporting outbreaks of the disease since late 2016.
[A Healthmap / ProMED of Nicaragua can be found at