Healthsource 10: Pink Eye Alert

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Take good care when you're greeting loved ones this holiday to ensure you're not taking home more than leftovers.

Doctors, especially eye specialists, are warning about a viral "guest" of pink eye infection over the Thanksgiving holiday. Viral pink eye infections are contagious and easily spread.

If you're wondering how you get it, medical experts say it's typically the same virus that can cause the common cold.

"If it lands in your throat it causes a sore throat if it lands in your eye it causes viral pink eye," said Dr. Charlotte Agnone, who is an ophthalmologist with a practice in Marysville.

Dr. Agnone said the uptick in viral pink eye is the worst she's seen in years. She's warning people that the strain is very aggressive and they can catch it from simply touching a surface where it's living,

"Unfortunately it can live for two weeks, in a dried form on a surface and also in respiratory secretions where people cough or sneeze," said Dr. Agnone.

Your best bet for protection is to practice good hand washing, shoulder coughing or sneezing. If you have guests in for the holidays, use throwaway paper towels in common bathrooms instead of cloth hand towels.

One other word of encouragement from the doctor is to remember that if you or a family member do come down with pink eye, it's not a reflection of you.

"It's not because you're not clean, it can be someone across the room that gave to you. It doesn't have to be something that you've done" said Dr. Agnone.