A senior optometrist, Dr. Spencer Obeng-Gyasi, at Twifo Atti-Morkwa District Hospital, has described it as a myth, asserting that breast milk is a cure for hemorrhagic conjunctivitis ‘apollo’.
The medical professional emphasised that such an assertion is not only false but also medically risky.
The doctor speaking on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said the infection is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with contaminated surfaces, respiratory droplets, or close personal contact.
He refuted allegations that staring directly into an infected person’s eye could spread the infection.
“That’s not correct. If that was the case, those of us working in the eye clinics would have been infected,” he said.
Hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, or Apollo, is an eye condition characterised by inflammation and bleeding of the conjunctiva – the thin membrane covering the whites of the eyes and the inner eyelids. Caused primarily by viral infections, this condition is often triggered by enterovirus 70 (EV-70) and coxsackievirus A24 (CA24).
He explained that the virus responsible for Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis has a short incubation period of approximately 1 to 3 days.
This means that after exposure to an infected person or contaminated surface, symptoms may emerge within this time frame.
The infection spreads easily, making crowded environments conducive to its transmission, he noted.
He stated that preventing the spread of Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis involves practicing good hygiene.
“Regular handwashing, avoiding touching the eyes, and not sharing personal items such as towels or makeup are all important preventive measures.” If afflicted, avoiding close contact with people and isolating oneself can help limit the virus’s spread,” he added.
Dr. Spencer Obeng-Gyasi stated, “Apollo is self-limiting, and when you contract it, it has the potential to go away on its own, but because of the discomfort and pains associated with it, the drugs are administered.” There is the possibility of a secondary effect on persons infected with the virus.”
Breast milk as medication for ‘Apollo’ is ineffective. Some nutrients in breast milk can cause viral causative agents to grow.”