Marshalls' hit with pink eye epidemic

5:02 pm on 18 May 2016

An epidemic of conjunctivitis, or pink eye, has hit the Marshall Islands, with 290 cases reported on Majuro Atoll last week.

An eye.

An eye. Photo: rnzi

Some people intending to travel who had symptoms of the eye disease were stopped from boarding international flights.

Health officials have linked the outbreak to the five-month drought the Marshalls' had been experiencing.

The severe water shortage - until heavy rains began falling this past week - meant access to water for hand washing had been difficult for many island residents.

People with pink eye symptoms are being urged not to go to school, church, or work until their symptoms disappear.