Pokhara, August 21:

Conjunctivitis is spreading fast in Pokhara since the past one week due to the dry weather and the Adenovirus type 8. The Himalaya Eye Hospital, Pokhara, said 50 per cent of

the total patients visiting the hospital have been diagnosed with conjunctivitis.

On an average, 40 conjunctivitis patients are traced everyday in the hospital. School children are more prone to this disease, an employee of the hospital, Parvati Gurung, said.

At least 18 conjunctivitis patients visit Manipal teaching hospital Pokhara everyday, said Dr Pravin Singh, a medical specialist dealing with conjunctivitis.

Spread of conjunctivitis is rapid as the Adenovirus type 8, which causes this disease, spreads through open air, he added and advised all to keep patients isolated and prevent infection to healthy persons.

Under proper medication, conjunctivitis takes a week to get cured, said an ophthalmology assistant Amrit KC.

Lack of proper and timely treatment of conjunctivitis may lead to permanent blindness, he added.

Kishore Panta, who runs Swornim Pharmacy at Bhimsen Chowk in Pokhara, says some 10 conjunctivitis patients visit him daily.

Proper washing of eyes and hands and timely treatment can help treat the disease, health workers say.

One Milan Gurung of Pokhara-1 Bagar, who suffered from conjunctivitis, said he took home leave from his office to prevent spreading the disease to others.

Meanwhile, the Western Regional Hospital, the largest in the region, has no opthalmologist and the patients have to visit other places for proper treatment.