Pink Eye

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    As it is the season, I am seeing quite a few cases of conjunctivitis. Recently, I have had a few patients ask me about a new test for conjunctivitis. Apparently, it works like a pregnancy test or rapid strep test and provides an answer in 10 minutes. Supposedly, it can differentiate viral from bacterial conjunctivitis. If this is true, I think this could be a very useful test. Does anyone have any experience using the test or information about it?

    C. Palmer
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    Having worked in ophthalmology for 18 years I am not aware of this "new test" however, I have to mention, for decades it has been possible for a physician to take a sample from a patient's eye with a sterile Kimura spatula, smear it on a slide, look at it under the microscope and generally rule out most stuff. This should take about 3 minutes but you need to have a willing doctor and a good microscope which is not too inconvenient to access.