Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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What Exactly is Wrong With Bob Costas' Eye?

By Nesita kwan
|  Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014  |  Updated 6:20 PM CDT
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It's not a pink slip, but rather pink eye that will sideline Bob Costas on NBC Olympics prime time Tuesday night.

It's not a pink slip, but rather pink eye that will sideline Bob Costas on NBC Olympics prime time Tuesday night.

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It's not a pink slip, but rather pink eye that will sideline Bob Costas on NBC Olympics prime time Tuesday night.

For the first time since 1998, host Bob Costas won't be hosting the Olympics broadcast.

After hosting the proceedings on Monday night wearing glasses and a visibly swollen eye, Costas will be taking at least one night off.

The eye infection has spread to both eyes, and Rush University Medicine Dr. Jonathan Rubenstein says Costas is most likely suffering from conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye.

Rubenstein says it's like the cold virus in that it's extremely contagious.

"If somebody has a weepy red eye, obviously it's tearing, you want to touch it with a Kleenex up there, your fingers, you reach down, you shake someone's hand or you touch a hand or you touch a handle and someone else touches that door handle," Rubenstein said.

While Rubenstein hasn't personally examined Costas, he suspects it's a particularly severe infection.

"People who wear contact lenses, sometimes when they first get the virus, don't realize they're infected and putting a contact lens on an eye that has an infection," Rubenstein said.

Rubenstein says Costas is doing the right thing by taking the time to rest.

"There's some drops that make the eye a little less infected and red, but there really is no cure, it has to run it's course. It usually takes 7-10 days and then it usually goes away," Rubenstein said.

The best way to prevent the infection is to wash your hands and to be aware of the risks of contact lenses.

Matt Lauer will step in for Costas until he's ready to go back on air.

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