How is viral conjunctivitis (pink eye) transmitted?

Updated: Mar 24, 2020
  • Author: Ingrid U Scott, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious, usually for 10-12 days from onset as long as the eyes are red, in addition to a prodromal period of 3-7 days. Patients should avoid touching their eyes, shaking hands, and sharing towels, among other activities. Transmission may occur through accidental inoculation of viral particles from the patient's hands or by contact with infected upper respiratory droplets, fomites, or contaminated swimming pools.


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