Apollo, formally called Acute Haemorrhagic Conjunctivitis, or simply conjunctivitis, is one of the most common eye infections here in Nigeria. It is very common in young children, although it is not rare to see it in adults. It often causes the affected eye to become pinkish or reddish, which often comes with pain and swelling. It is highly communicable as you can get it by coming in contact with things used by an infected person, such as towels or glasses. It is more prevalent during the dry season.
The name Apollo comes from the Apollo XI spacecraft which was launched to the moon in July 1969. The eye infection became an epidemic in Ghana and Nigeria and the Nigerian Government sought compensation from the American Government as they thought that the dust from the launch of the Apollo XI rocket was the cause of the infection. But it has been found out that the eye infection is caused by bacteria or virus. Sometimes, it could also be caused by allergies or as a result from irritation.
The common symptoms of Apollo infection include
- Reddish eye
- Soreness in the affected eye
- Swelling of the lid
- Watery discharge
- Itchiness around the eye
- Stickiness keeping the lids together.
If you develop three or four of the symptoms here, that could be a sign that you have the Apollo infection. But there is no way of knowing until you go to an optician or an ophthalmologist for diagnosis.
Apollo Diseases Treatment
Apollo infection often clears after a week or two of it first appearing, often without the person doing anything, but this is not advised. If you visit a doctor, they would recommend an eyedrop for you to use as well as some other medications to help cope with the pain, depending on how severe it is.
Washing your eyes with cold water would also bring relief from the pain and also relax your eye. All through the period, you have the infection, only make use of soft towels or cloth to touch your face so as not to disturb the infected eye.
Preventing yourself from Apollo is very important, especially during a time when it is very prevalent, like during the dry season. Here are some things you can do.
1. Avoid Using Glasses Of Infected Persons
It is never a good idea to wear the glasses of another person, especially when they have an eye infection.
2. Avoid Using Other Personal Items Of Infected Persons
Do not share towels or handkerchiefs with someone that has the Apollo infection as you could contract it during the process.
3. Always Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is very important in protecting yourself from the infection. Wash your hands with a good soap, especially after coming in contact with someone that has the infection or when it is very prevalent.
4. Quarantine An Infected Child
Another good way of preventing the spread of the infection is to quarantine a child that has it. That way, they would not be able to spread it to those around them, like their schoolmates or those they play with.