Texas doctor says new strain of pinkeye is resistant to medication

New strain of pink eye is resistant to medication

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Though pinkeye is usually an infection that's easily treated, a new strain is now causing problems among physicians.

'It's just being a little more aggressive; the symptoms are more irritation, more redness," Dr. James Berg of Lehmann Eye Center said.  "Then the duration is probably what's really hanging up on people because it's going for two to three weeks instead of your typical 10 to 14 days."

Dr. Berg says Houston has seen many cases of a new "superbug" strain, but with summertime travel, he says the strain could make its way up to East Texas.

"It's able to evade the normal defense systems that our own bodies have, and medications; that's what's making this new strain the superbug somewhat unique to us," Berg said.

Unlike bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis, this new strain is a viral infection and extremely contagious.

"If it starts in one eye it typically will jump to the other one just because it's so contagious, and patients don't realize how often they are touching their eyes," Berg said.

He says to make sure you visit your doctor if you start feeling any of the symptoms, like blurred vision or redness of the eye. He also says you should stay at home.

"The general rule of thumb that I use is if you're still having symptoms and your eye is still red,' Berg said. "You're still contagious."

Berg says if you think you've encountered someone with pinkeye to take the following protocol.

"They need to be washing their hands and disinfecting all the door handles and furniture and make sure it's clean," Berg said.

Dr. Berg asks ladies who get pink eye to remember to throw out all makeup that has touched the eyes in order to prevent reinfection.

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