Auckland on alert over highly infectious eye virus
5:00AM Wednesday June 13, 2007
By Martin Johnston

Auckland has been hit by a potentially serious eye infection - the largest reported outbreak of its type in New Zealand.

The region's Public Health Service says in its latest Public Health Quarterly Report that since the start of last year, around 80 cases of conjunctivitis caused by adenovirus type 8 have been confirmed in Auckland.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the transparent membrane which covers the white of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids. It can lead to inflammation of the cornea, the transparent front part of the eyeball.

The total number of cases is thought to be much higher than 80, public health medicine registrar Dr Graeme Lindsay says in the report. This is because not all people with the illness see a doctor or have a swab (sample) taken for laboratory testing.

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