Eye Flu Outbreak In India 2023: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

The number of eye flu (conjunctivitis) cases has increased all over the country, from Delhi to Maharashtra to Arunachal Pradesh, following an outbreak of conjunctivitis in India caused by rain and flooding. Due to the concerning rise in cases of eye flu, schools have been closed for a few days in several locations in Arunachal Pradesh.

According to reports in Delhi, doctors see about 100 eye flu cases per day. Numerous areas of Agra have also seen an increase in cases of eye illness. According to the experts, there has been a significant rise in cases of eye flu.

More than 40% of patients with the eye flu were reportedly treated at the district hospital in Agra and the ophthalmology division of the SN Medical College.

In Maharashtra, nearly 40,000 cases have been registered. Pune has the most cases, with roughly 8,000.

Around 20,000 cases were registered in Chhattisgarh. Gujrat has also seen a considerable number of cases.

According to the reports, In Mumbai, Conjunctivitis cases have increased by 15-20% in both children and adults. The number of cases of eye flu has been rising quickly throughout Maharashtra.

eye flu

What is eye flu?

The common eye disease called “eye flu”, also known as “viral conjunctivitis” or “pink eye”, affects millions of people worldwide. It is highly infectious and spreads quickly in communities, businesses, and schools. Eye flu mainly affects those who have conjunctivitis, a thin, transparent membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.

Adenoviruses are typically the origin of the infection, but other viruses, bacteria, or allergies can also cause comparable symptoms. Eye flu is caused by a viral infection. It does not spread through the air or by eye contact. Direct contact with an infected person’s eye secretions, such as tears or pus, or by touching contaminated surfaces and subsequently touching the eyes, is the most typical way for the disease to spread.

Eye flu Symptoms

Redness: Inflammation can cause the conjunctiva, the whites of the eyes, to look pink or red.

Itching: Itchy and irritated eyes may cause repeated scratching.

Watery Discharge: Excessive crying may result in an eye discharge that is clear and watery.

Light Sensitivity: The damaged eye may feel uncomfortable and sensitive under bright light.

Swelling: Eyelids and the surrounding area of the eyes may swell and puff up.

Foreign Body Sensation: Some people may experience the sensation that something foreign, like sand or grit, is lodged in their eyes.

Crusting of Eyelids: In the morning, dry discharge may cause the eyelids to become stuck together.

Blurred Vision: Excessive tears or discharge may briefly impair vision.

Eye flu treatment

According to doctors, antibiotic eye drops, eye ointments,, and some oral anti-allergic can help in the treatment of conjunctivitis. The majority of viral conjunctivitis cases are minor. In most cases, the infection will go away on its own in one or two weeks without any long-term effects or treatment. Here are a few common cures for eye flu:

1. Warm compresses can be used to reduce pain and lessen crusting in the affected eye. Several times a day, gently place a clean, soft cloth that has been soaked in warm water over the closed eyelids for a short period.

2. Dryness and pain can be reduced by using lubricating eye drops or artificial tears that are available. For proper usage, follow the directions on the product’s label.

3. It is advised to avoid wearing contact lenses or eye makeup while the infection is present since these items could aggravate the eyes even more and delay the healing process.

4. To stop the virus from spreading to other people, it is essential to practice good hand hygiene. Always wash your hands after contacting your eyes, and always do so regularly.

5. Use separate bedding and towels while they are recovering if someone in your home has an eye illness.

6. Cold compresses might help lessen swelling and calm the eyes if allergies are the source of the eye flu.

7. If the eye flu is serious or ongoing, an eye specialist may occasionally recommend antiviral eye drops or ointments. If viral conjunctivitis is present along with a bacterial illness, antibiotic eye drops may be recommended.

Note: It is important to understand that since antibiotics only treat bacterial illnesses, viral eye flu does not react to treatment with them. Most eye flu symptoms improve in one to two weeks with the right self-care and hygiene routines.

However, it’s important to get medical attention from an eye expert for a thorough evaluation and proper management if the symptoms increase, or persist, or if there is severe pain, altered vision, or indications of an eye infection.

Eye flu prevention

1. frequently wash your eyes with water.

2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

3. Keep your hands away from your eyes and avoid touching or rubbing them as this can help prevent the spread of bacteria or viruses from your hands to your eyes.

4. Avoid sharing towels, washcloths, pillows, eye makeup, or contact lenses with others as these things can spread germs.

5. Avoid close contact with people, such as hugging or shaking hands, if you have eye flu or if someone in your home is affected to stop the spread of the illness.

6. If someone in your home has an eye fever, routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, phones, and keyboards.

7. wear sunglasses.

8. Dr Priyanka Murgude (eye specialist) says that  Keep your environment clean because if you don’t, you’re letting houseflies breed. As you know, houseflies are a carrier of eye flu.

9. Stay at home and keep your distance from other people until you are no longer contagious if you have eye flu or any other signs of a contagious eye infection.

10. Consult a doctor for thorough examination and advice if you think you may have eye flu or suffer symptoms including redness, itching, or discharge from the eyes.

You can lower your chance of catching or spreading eye flu by taking the necessary precautions, which will also safeguard the health of others around you as well as your own eyes.


Adenoviruses are the most common cause of the development of eye flu, often known as viral conjunctivitis or pink eye. The infection,, may be caused by or caused by other circumstances. Eye flu’s primary causes include:

Viral Infections

Viral infections, particularly adenoviruses, are the main cause of eye flu cases. Through direct contact with eye secretions that are infected, such as tears or mucus, these viruses can be very contagious and spread quickly.

Bacterial Infections

Infections caused by bacteria can cause symptoms like the flu in the eyes, despite being less frequent than viral conjunctivitis. Usually, germs like Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pneumoniae cause bacterial conjunctivitis.


Allergic conjunctivitis is a different type of eye inflammation that resembles symptoms of eye illness. People who have allergies may develop this type of conjunctivitis when exposed to allergens including pollen, pet dander, or dust mites.

Chemical Irritants

Exposure to irritants like smoke, pollution, pool chlorine, or harsh chemicals can cause irritant or toxic conjunctivitis, which is a disorder that affects the eyes.

Contact Lenses

Prolonged or incorrect contact lens wear can occasionally result in conjunctivitis, which is an irritation and inflammation of the conjunctiva.


A condition known as neonatal conjunctivitis, which is spread after childbirth, can cause eye flu in infants.

Complications of a Cold or Respiratory Infection

Sometimes, especially in youngsters, a cold or respiratory infection may be accompanied by eye flu.

How do you treat eye flu?

Use warm compresses and lubricating eye drops. Rest, have plenty of water, and wash your hands frequently. Consult an eye expert if your symptoms continue or get worse. There is no known treatment, although symptoms normally go away after 1-2 weeks.

How can I prevent eye flu?

  • Often wash your eyes with water.
  • Always wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching or scratching your eyes because doing so can spread germs.
  • wear your sunglasses.
  • Stay away from other people.
  • Clean up your surroundings
  • Consult a doctor.

Can eye flu cause fever?

No, viral conjunctivitis (eye flu) doesn’t usually produce fever. Redness, swelling, itching, and discharge are the common signs of this illness. It is advisable to get medical help for a correct diagnosis and treatment if you have a fever and eye symptoms because they could be signs of a separate infection or illness.

In conclusion, adenoviruses are the most prevalent cause of eye flu, also known as viral conjunctivitis or pink eye, which is a common and extremely contagious eye infection. Direct contact with infected eye fluids or touching contaminated surfaces before contacting the eyes is an easy way to spread the infection.

Eye flu symptoms include redness, swelling, watery discharge, itching, sensitivity to light, and the sensation of a foreign mass. most cases of eye flu are self-limiting and resolve on their own in one to two weeks, it is still important to practice good hygiene and take precautions to stop it from spreading to other people.

Important methods in preventing eye flu include routine hand washing, avoiding touching the eyes, and not sharing personal objects. It is advised to consult a doctor from an eye clinic if symptoms increase or persist to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Understanding the origins, signs, and treatment options can assist in safeguarding eye health and encourage a quick recovery from eye illness. Also read this: Avian Flu Spreading Rapidly: Should We Be Worried?


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