Bacterial pink eye in babies
Bacteria are often the origin of pink eye in the first 48 hours of life. Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria usually creates a high volume, thick discharge from the eye. Staphylococcus—a common skin bacteria—is typically the culprit. Gonorrhea is another potential source of infection, although it is uncommon in the U.S. because babies are treated with preventive antibiotics in the newborn nursery. Occasionally these medications can cause mild irritation and pink eye for a couple days.
Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection, can be spread from mothers to babies during delivery and is the most common cause of pink eye in infants younger than 20 days old.
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