The number of viral conjunctivitis cases in Daqahliya has reached 893, said Daqahliya Governor Samir Sallam.
A Ministry of Health committee has launched a campaign to examine all students in the governorate’s schools in search of additional cases.
Minister of Health Hatem al-Gabali, meanwhile, said there is no need to close schools. There is a need, however, for improved hygiene among students, he added.
Abdel Rahman Shaheen, spokesperson for the ministry, said the infections were due to environmental pollution and seasonal weather variations.
Dr. Nasr al-Sayyed, assistant minister of health for prophylactic medicine, said most of the cases were found in primary schools. The infected students were given appropriate medication and a 10-day sick leave, he said.
Ayman Mohamed Ragab, deputy minister of health in Daqahliya, said officials assembled a medical team to receive cases at the Matariya General Hospital. Forty-two cases have already been treated, he added.
Awareness initiatives on the importance of personal hygiene and keeping infected children isolated have kicked off throughout the governorate, he added.
A number of Matariya residents attributed the spread of the infection to filthy street conditions, describing their neighborhood as a “swamp for epidemics.” The contamination of its near-by lake has fueled the spread of diseases, they claim.
Amgad Shalaan, one Matariya resident, said the infection rate is on the rise, adding that cases at home outnumber those reported at schools. Infection rates are particularly prevalent among children too young for school, Shalaan said.
Tareq Mahmoud Abdel Razeq, a member of the Daqahliya local council, said he intends to submit a memorandum on the state of cleanliness in schools to the deputy education minister . He said he will submit a request to the head of the local council to tackle the issue.
In order to address the situation, local officials will need to procure additional funds, particularly because garbage collection fees amount to more than LE100,000.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.