Highly contagious adenovirus: the "eye flu" is rampant in Bonn
The so-called eye flu is spreading strongly in some areas of Germany. Patients suffer and eye pain and itchy eyes. The disease is triggered by infectious adenoviruses. The epidemic spreads very quickly in Bonn. Patients are encouraged to stay at home there.
Over 100 cases of eye flu have been reported
In the past two weeks, over 100 cases of so-called eye flu have been reported to the City of Bonn's health department. Affected people suffer from red, watery and itchy eyes. The eyes are also afraid of light. This aggressive form of conjunctivitis is triggered by a highly contagious adenovirus.
Highly contagious and resistant
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. "
This is also evident in Bonn, where the disease is difficult to control. As Vice City Spokesman Marc Hoffmann told the "Bonn General-Anzeiger", the disease was notifiable. "The tricky thing is the long incubation period of up to twelve days, and the virus is also environmentally resistant," said the spokesman.
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.
The origin of the adenovirus is so far unclear. Researchers assume that it does not come from humans, but from animals. In 2011, 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)