How red eyes could be a harbinger of a deadly Victorian disease


A CHILD’S red eye was found to be a symptom of a fatal disease.

The 11-year-old American child, whose name has not been released, was referred to hospital with a persistent red eye.


Tuberculosis is one of the deadliest diseases in the world,Credit: Getty

Despite taking several types of eye drops and antibiotics, the child’s otherwise perfectly healthy right eye remained red.

Report in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, doctors said they discovered her red eye was a symptom of latent tuberculosis (TB).

Tuberculosis is one of the deadliest diseases in the world, killing an estimated 1.7 million people and infecting 10 million every year.

Latent tuberculosis infection is one of the most complex forms of tuberculosis.

Unlike TB disease, which presents with the usual symptoms of TB, latent TB infection remains dormant inside the body, with the potential to trigger symptoms at any time.

Latent tuberculosis is not contagious and does not make a person sick.

It only makes someone sick once it turns into tuberculosis disease.

People with latent tuberculosis need to take medicine regularly to keep the infection at bay and prevent it from turning into a disease.

The girl had tested positive for the latent infection six months before seeing doctors, but had not received any treatment.

The red eye was a reaction to her body fighting infection.

Symptoms of active TB include a persistent cough that lasts longer than three weeks, shortness of breath, lack of appetite, weight loss, and high temperature.

The child was given a prescription for a drug to treat latent tuberculosis infection, according to the report.

Tuberculosis cases have increased in recent years – up 7% last year.

The disease can be fatal if left untreated, with an expert warning it ‘remains a serious public health concern in the UK’.

England had the highest TB rates in Western Europe in 2011, but since then cases have fallen.

However, due to the attention to Covid and people not seeking treatment during the pandemic, rates have risen again.

The UK Health Safety Agency previously warned anyone with a cough that has persisted for more than three weeks to seek help.

Britons shouldn’t dismiss a new cough as Covid unless they are certain because TB could also cause this symptom.


Comments are closed.