CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Outbreaks of pink eye have spread through the campuses of Dartmouth College and Princeton University, leaving hundreds of students with swollen, irritated eyes as they begin their spring breaks.
Some experts fear the outbreaks of conjunctivitis could spread as the students fan out across the country and beyond.
"Some students are just developing pink eye now. There is a possibility it will blossom in the different places they go during their break," said Dr. Jack Turco of Dartmouth's student health center.
Nearly 500 Dartmouth students have reported symptoms of pink eye since January, and another 500 students may have had the infection and not reported it, Turco said.
Those numbers are at least five times higher than usual, said Turco, who urged other schools to watch for signs of the infection.
At Princeton, more than 250 students have reported symptoms of pink eye since officials began tracking the infections last month.
The Princeton outbreak represents about double the normal incidence of conjunctivitis there, said Janet A. Neglia of Princeton University Health Services.
Pink eye can cause a pink or red discoloration of the eyes, irritation, swelling, blurry vision, sticky eyelids and increased sensitivity to light.
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