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Ophthalmia Neonatorum


Or Neonatal Conjunctivitis is defined as a conjunctival inflammation that occurs during the first month of life.



Table: Ophthalmia neonatorum: mode of presentation, differential diagnosis and treatment.

Time of onset after birth

Differential diagnosis


Within the first 48 hours

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Ceftriaxone injection i.m. gentamicin drops. Bacitracin eye ointment



Wash eyes, erythromycin ointment, observe, usually improves in 24 hours

48-72 hours

Other bacteria

Neomycin – bacitracin eye ointment, gentamicin, or tobramycin drops

5 – 7 days

Herpes simplex virus (HSV II)

Acyclovir 3% eye ointment, systemic acyclovir for systemic involvement in consultation with a paediatrician

> 1 weeks

Chlamydia trachomatis (D- K)

Erythromycin or chlortetracycline eye ointment, oral erythromycin for systemic infection

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