May be bacterial or viral.
This is intended as a general guide. Consult a health care provider for diagnosis and for recommendations or advice.
How it Spreads
Contact with eye secretions through contaminated fingers or articles (i.e. wash cloths or towels).
When pink eye is caused by a cold the droplets from a sneeze or cough can also spread it.
Incubation period *24–48 hours.
* Incubation period = Time between contact with disease and start of symptom.
How to Recognize
Redness in whites of eye, scratchy feeling or pain in eye or swollen eyelids.
Watery or yellowish discharge; eyelids often stick together.
When it is Contagious
Assume contagious until diagnosed.
When to Report/Exclude
Exclude from child care and school until child has seen a doctor.
For bacterial causes, exclude for 24 hours after the start of appropriate antibiotic.