Be careful, having red eyes can be a sign of a deadly disease

A little girl had had red eyes for several weeks. This symptom reflected the presence of latent tuberculosis.

These are sometimes small signs that can reveal the presence of certain potentially fatal diseases. In the US, an 11-year-old child has been hospitalized with a persistent red eye, as reported by The Sun. The administration of antibiotics and ophthalmic drops did not provide relief, although the child otherwise had no health concerns. This little girl suffered from this inconvenience for eight weeks.

Thanks to their investigations, the doctors found that it was actually a symptom of latent tuberculosis. “The patient was doing well until 8 weeks prior to the current evaluation, when she noted mild eye redness that was worse in the right eye than in the left eye. There was intermittent swelling of the eyelid but no photophobia, itching, pain, lacrimation or discharge“, the doctors report. This case was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine on October 18, 2022.

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latent tuberculosis

Six months before this event, the little girl had been diagnosed with tuberculosis, but the parents do not recall giving treatment. His red eye was then a reaction to his body fighting the infection.

The disease has not disappeared in France, where 4,606 cases were declared in 2020. As Public Health France explains, in the case of latent tuberculosis, the tubercle bacillus can remain in the body in a state of slightly active rest and not cause disease. “The infected person is not sick, has no symptoms and is not contagious, but somehow harbors the mycobacteria. This infection can last for years or decades“, summarizes the Ministry of Health. In France, tuberculosis and latent tuberculosis infection are notifiable diseases.

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