Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) is inflammation of the mucous membranes (conjunctiva) that cover the eyeball. It is usually caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies or chemicals.


May include tearing, irritation, itching, pain, mild sensitivity to light, redness of the conjunctiva and eye discharge.


Conjunctivitis is rarely occupational; thus the employee needs to be treated by his/her personal physician. Employee Health Services does an infectious disease evaluation to determine whether or not the employee is contagious and whether or not the employee is cleared to work.

Work status

Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are contagious. The employee is thus restricted from working until his/her eyes are free of discharge. Any employee with suspected "pink eye" and eye discharge/tearing must be cleared by employee health or his/her personal physician prior to working. Nursing supervisors, charge nurses, and departmental supervisors are to send the employee home when employee health is closed. It is the responsibility of the employee to obtain a clearance from his/her personal physician to work when employee health is closed.

Developed by Employee Health Services.