If you're traveling to parts of the world where trachoma is common, be sure to practice good hygiene to prevent infection.
If you've been treated for trachoma with antibiotics or surgery, reinfection is always a concern. For your protection and for the safety of others, be sure that family members or others you live with are screened and, if necessary, treated for trachoma.
Proper hygiene practices include:
- Face washing and hand-washing. Keeping faces clean, especially children's, can help break the cycle of reinfection.
- Controlling flies. Reducing fly populations can help eliminate a major source of transmission.
- Proper waste management. Properly disposing of animal and human waste can reduce breeding grounds for flies.
- Improved access to water. Having a fresh water source nearby can help improve hygienic conditions.
Although no vaccine is available, trachoma prevention is possible. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a health strategy to prevent trachoma, with the goal of eliminating trachoma in the world by 2020. The strategy is titled SAFE, which includes:
Oct. 03, 2012
- Surgery to treat advanced forms of trachoma
- Antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent further spread of infection
- Facial cleanliness
- Environmental improvements, particularly in water, sanitation and fly control, to lower disease transmission
- Hygiene-related diseases: Trachoma. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/disease/trachoma.html. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Water-related diseases: Trachoma. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/trachoma/en/index.html. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Wright HR. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of trachoma. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Trachoma. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye_disorders/conjunctival_and_scleral_disorders/trachoma.html?qt=trachoma&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- Conjunctivitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye_disorders/conjunctival_and_scleral_disorders/conjunctivitis.html?qt=conjunctivitis&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 23, 2012.
- Trachoma overview. International Trachoma Initiative. http://trachoma.org/world%E2%80%99s-leading-cause-preventable-blindness. Accessed Aug. 17, 2012.
- WHO simplified trachoma grading system. Community Eye Health. 2004;17:52. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1705737. Accessed Aug. 23, 2012.
- Prevention of blindness and visual impairment: Trachoma. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/blindness/causes/trachoma/en/index.html. Accessed Aug. 24, 2012.
- Blindness, trachoma in children under 10 in 2003. Global Health Atlas. World Health Organization.http://apps.who.int/globalatlas/dataQuery/. Accessed Sept. 6, 2012.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 5, 2012.
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