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September 17, 2010

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17 workers treated for pinkeye

SEVENTEEN workers at an automobile parts company in Jiading District have been confirmed as having acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, or pinkeye disease, by the district government yesterday.

A team from the Jiading District Center for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting an investigation at the company, which has 289 workers, and is disinfecting the premises.

District government officials said all the cases took place over the past two weeks.

"So far all sick workers have received appropriate treatment and remain at home for observation," said a district government official. "The health authorities have conducted measures to prevent the disease spreading at the plant."

The Shanghai Health Bureau said yesterday that more pinkeye disease cases had been reported nationwide than at the same time last year and there were school epidemics in Guangzhou and the neighboring cities of Nanjing and Ningbo.

The local incidence of pinkeye disease is lower than neighboring provinces and most cases were sporadic, taking place at residences of migrant workers and migrant children's schools.

The high season for pinkeye disease is usually summer and autumn.

Children, students and migrant workers are the main targets of the highly contagious disease due to their weaker immunity, living conditions and poor hygiene.

Officials said people should never share towels or touch their eyes before washing their hands.

Kindergartens, schools and other premises should carry out morning checks to identify patients early, the bureau said.

"Migrant workers and their children usually have a poorer hygienic habits like sharing towels," said Li Shanguo, a health bureau official. "Good hygiene is the most effective way to protect people from pinkeye disease."

Recovery is usually within two or three weeks without further complications after treatment with eye ointment or other medicines.


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