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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 October 6; 335(7622): 728.
PMCID: PMC2001076


S C Penumetsa, specialist registrar in nephrology,1 K Ratnasingham, ST3 in accident and emergency,2 and S K Upadhyay, professor of ophthalmology3

A 2 week old Afro-Caribbean infant with grossly swollen eyes was brought to a charity medical camp in West Africa. On examination, eyelid oedema and a purulent discharge were noted in both eyes. Staining of the pus showed numerous Gram negative diplococci. Opthalmia neonatorum was diagnosed and she was treated with ciprofloxacin drops, which were readily available. The swelling resolved completely in two days and blindness was prevented. A cervical swab from the mother confirmed gonococcal infection, and both parents were subsequently treated for gonococcal and chlamydial infection. Gonoccocal ophthalmia is a vertically transmitted infection that can lead to permanent visual loss if antimicrobials are not given promptly.promptly.

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