Algoma Public Health


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What is it?

  • A bacterial infection of the eye.

 What are the symptoms?

  • Itchy irritated eyes.
  • Whites of the eyes turn pink.
  • Pus discharge from eyes.  Eyes are often “glued shut” after sleeping.

 How quickly do symptoms develop?

  • Within 1 to 3 days after coming in contact with the infection.

 How is it spread?

  • Contact with discharges from the eye or upper respiratory tracts of infected people.
  • Contaminating fingers with eye or throat discharges from an infected person and then touching your eyes.
  • Indirectly through contaminated clothing, face cloths and towels or sharing eye-make up or eye medications

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Contact Us!


Sault Ste. Marie: 705-942-4646

Blind River: 705-356-2551

Elliot Lake: 705-848-2314

Wawa: 705-856-7208


  How long is it contagious?

  • As long as the eyes have discharge.
  • Children with pink eye should not attend school/daycare until 24 hours after antibiotic has been started and the discharge has stopped.

 How is it treated?

  • With an antibiotic.
  • Sometimes the doctor will order an oral antibiotic as well as an antibiotic eye drop or ointment.

 What can you do?

  • Do not share your face cloths or towels.
  • Wash your hands after touching or wiping your eyes.
  • Discard Kleenex soiled with eye or nose discharge into garbage container.

 For further information contact the Communicable Disease Control Program at 705-942-4646 or toll free at 1-866-892-0172.


Date of Creation: June 1, 2015

Last Modified: Feb 25, 2016