By Zoubair Ayoob

The department of health has discovered people are treating pink eye with human urine and has warned this can have serious repercussions and may even lead to blindness.

Superintendent-General of Health Ronald Green-Thompson said the use of urine to treat the infection was picked up by senior opthalmologists around the province who found incidences of keratitis, a disease of the eye, in many of the patients.

"Keratitis can lead to permanent damage of the eye which will impair vision and even lead to blindness," he said.

Department spokesperson Lindiwe Khuzwayo said treatment for pink eye was available at clinics and hospitals and people did not need to resort to home remedies.

Meanwhile, The Mercury has learnt pupils at some schools in the province are selling the pink eye infection to one another.

The parent of a Glenwood school pupil said infected pupils in Grades 11 and 12 were passing on the infection by rubbing their infected eyes with their fingers and then rubbing the eyes of uninfected pupils. The "procedure" costs R5 per pupil.

At a Phoenix school, however, the price had dropped to R2.