Order follows reports of spread of viral conjunctivitis cases

Following reports of spread of viral conjunctivitis cases in the city, swimming pools belonging to the Chennai Corporation and those in several hotels have been asked to remain closed till Monday as a precautionary measure.

While several hotels have followed the oral instruction from the civic body's Health Department officials, some said they will wait for written instructions and have kept their facilities open.

The civic body had closed two of its swimming pools at the Marina and My Ladye's Park for three days from Saturday.

According to sources, the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu pool near the Marina swimming pool did not allow members of the public and competitive swimmers to use the pool following the directions from the civic body. However, official sources in the civic body said that hotels as well as private pools had only been asked to be cautious about such cases and disinfect the pools and clean the water.

Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan said that following reports of cases of viral conjunctivitis, Health Department officials had been asked to map the incidence of such cases across the city.

“If we find that cases have spread from any swimming pool, we will ask them to close temporarily,” he said.

Officials of the Health Department said that they had not received reports of such cases from any of their 74 urban Primary Health Centres or two eye clinics.

“The swimming pools belonging to the civic body have been closed as a precautionary measure. There is no outbreak as such. There are no cases at the Communicable Diseases Hospital as well,” said an official.

K.Vasantha, director, Government Eye Hospital, said that two weeks ago there were cases of bacterial conjunctivitis at the hospital. “We have not received any cases of viral conjunctivitis, which is caused by adenovirus. This infection can spread through the water in swimming pools. The symptoms are similar to that of bacterial conjunctivitis, which are red eye and discharge, sometimes accompanied by fever.”

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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