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  • Can you get pink eye by looking into someone’s eyes?


    Could conjunctivitis spread through looking into the eye of an infected person? Could micro-organisms causing conjunctivitis like bacteria, adenovirus, or others travel through the air?


    Literally speaking, germs do not travel on rays of light from one person to another. Conjunctivitis is generally spread by direct contact. Simply stated, you must touch someone or something to become infected. For example, someone who has conjunctivitis rubs their eye and touches a doorknob which is later touched by someone who then rubs their own eye. Adenoviruses frequently cause upper respiratory infections and can be spread by sneezing or coughing. Secretions on pillowcases and washcloths are often the culprits.

    Asymptomatic carriers or people with early infections are the most dangerous because they unknowingly spread the infection to others.

    This question was originally answered on Nov. 24, 2014.