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Does Pink Eye Spread?

Does Pink Eye Spread?


Pink eye DOES spread and is highly contagious.

More Info: Pink eye, medically referred to as conjunctivitis is the swelling of the conjunctiva, the mucous membranes lining the eyelid and eye, through irritation or infection.

What Causes Pink Eye?

Viruses are the most common cause of pink eye. No treatment is generally necessary for viral conjunctivitis. Left to run its course viral pink eye clears in approximately three to five days. Other causes include bacteria, cleared with antibiotic, allergies, which may respond to allergy medications, chemical exposure, fungi, and contact lenses.

How Long Is Pink Eye Contagious?

Pink eye is contagious as long as the eyes are tearing and discharging mucous.  In the case of a viral infection, the virus will generally run its course in three to five days.  In the case of a bacterial infection, it is generally no longer contagious twenty-four hours after an antibiotic treatment has been started.

Preventing the Spread of Pink Eye

Good hygiene is the key to inhibiting the spread of pink eye.  Washing hands frequently is the number one defense against passing the condition to others. Further measures include washing bedding and pillowcases, not reusing towels, and sterilizing contacts.

To prevent re-infection anything used while the infection was present should be sterilized or discarded such as cosmetics



“Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) – WebMD | Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.

“Conjunctivitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.


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