Health Promotion and Education Officer at the Westmoreland Health Department, Gerald Miller. (Contributed)

With three confirmed cases of viral conjunctivitis, or pink eye, in Westmoreland, the parish’s health department is urging residents to take precaution to prevent an outbreak.

The department says surveillance data show that the three cases were confirmed in the Negril health district and detected in three children ages two, three and five.

Health Promotion and Education Officer for the parish, Gerald Miller, says while there is no outbreak at this time, he is advising the public to take steps to decrease their risk of becoming infected with pink eye.

These measures he says include washing hands regularly, limiting handshakes, and wearing eye protection when exposed to wind, dust, heat or sun to avoid irritation.

Persons are also being urged to avoid touching the eyes unnecessarily and sharing eye makeup, eye medicines, and contact lenses, containers and solutions.

He says the health department has notified its stakeholders and has been conducting sensitisation activities to boost awareness.

Mr. Miller is urging parents to visit a health care provider if their children are experiencing symptoms of the virus.

Pink eye is redness and swelling of the eye that may be due to infection or irritation caused by viruses.

Signs of the virus include redness and watery eyes, itchy and/or burning eyes, grainy feeling in the eyes and hypersensitivity to light.

Pink eye is a common condition, and the infection can be spread by touching/rubbing the eyes with dirty hands or sharing objects such as eye drops, contact lenses, towel/handkerchief and makeup.

Most people will recover from pink eye within seven-10 days without medical treatment.