1. Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis – a type of conjunctivitis that is often associated with large epidemics worldwide, especially in the tropical and subtropical regions. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to … Having contact with infectious tears, eye discharge, fecal matter, or respiratory discharges can contaminate hands. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious. Conjunctivitis caused by viral or bacterial infection is highly contagious. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website. However, pinkeye caused by allergens and chemical irritants is not contagious by person-to-person contact. Viral conjunctivitis is a highly contagious acute conjunctival infection usually caused by adenovirus. Bacteria can also spread by large respiratory tract droplets. Having contact with infectious tears, eye discharge, fecal matter, or respiratory discharges can contaminate hands. Common symptoms include irritation, swollen conjunctiva, itchy eyes and discharge. Diagnosis is clinical; sometimes viral cultures or immunodiagnostic testing is indicated. 55 years experience Infectious Disease. Both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are highly contagious. Is A Viral Infection Contagious? Pink eye (conjunctivitis) generally remains contagious as long as your child is experiencing tearing and matted eyes. Viral conjunctivitis can also spread by large respiratory tract droplets. Schools should allow infected children to remain in school once any indicated therapy is implemented, except when viral or bacterial conjunctivitis is accompanied by systemic signs of illness. Most viruses that cause conjunctivitis spread through hand-to-eye contact by hands or objects that are contaminated with the infectious virus. This is a good idea, because infectious conjunctivitis can be highly contagious in environments in which children are in close contact with each other. Final Recommendation Statement: Ocular Prophylaxis for Gonococcal Ophthalmia Neonatorum: Preventive Medication 2014external icon. Answer From Teresa Jensen, M.D. Viral conjunctivitis is a highly contagious type of conjunctivitis caused by an adenovirus or the herpes simplex virus . If the consultant said it was viral and not contagious, I would believe them. You might get viral conjunctivitis if you have a cold or come into contact with somebody who’s coughing or sneezing. Contact with contaminated fingers is a common cause of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is sometimes called ‘sticky eye’ or ‘pink eye’. Scanning electron micrograph of an Ambrosia trifida plant, more commonly known as ragweed. CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website. The condition can remain contagious for up to two weeks, but it tends to go away on its own within a few days or up to two weeks. Check with your doctor if you have any questions about when your child can return to school or child care. Viral conjunctivitis is a highly contagious type of conjunctivitis caused by an adenovirus or the herpes simplex virus. People with this type of pink eye will often notice larger blood vessels, photophobia, pain, pseudomembranes, and watery ocular discharge. Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis – a type of conjunctivitis associated with herpes simplex virus and blister-like lesions on the skin; it may affect only one eye, Rubella and rubeola (measles) – conjunctivitis can occur with these viral rash illnesses which are usually accompanied by rash, fever, and cough, A more severe type of conjunctivitis that develops rapidly and can lead to corneal perforation, Often accompanied by eyelid swelling, pain, and decreased vision, Involves a large amount of thick, purulent (pus) discharge that returns even after wiping it away from the eye(s), Can lead to vision loss if not treated promptly by an eye doctor [, Defined as symptoms lasting for at least 4 weeks, Often happens along with blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelid lid, which can cause flaky debris and warmth along the lid, People with this condition should see an eye doctor [, Can occur in infants born to mothers with, It is called ophthalmia neonatorum in the first 4 weeks of life, Usually symptoms develop 5 to 12 days after birth, Neonates with chlamydia conjunctivitis also often have chlamydial infection elsewhere in their bodies (e.g., lungs, nasopharynx). Saving Lives, Protecting People, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, Touching an object or surface with germs on it, then touching your eyes before washing your hands. Most cases of bacterial conjunctivitis are mild and it usually gets better on its own within a few days. 1 Crounau H, Kankanala RR, Mauger T. Diagnosis and management of red eye in primary careexternal icon. However, infected students should refrain from attending school if their behavior is such that they cannot avoid close contact with other students. 2  You can then get viral conjunctivitis if you rub your eyes with your hands. Schools and child care often require a child diagnosed with conjunctivitis to stay home until the condition is resolved. The lungs, or respiratory discharges can contaminate hands for on clothing and can go public! 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