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Infect Control. 1984 Aug;5(8):390-4.

Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis: report of an outbreak in an ophthalmology practice and recommendations for prevention.


In Fall 1981, an outbreak of acute infectious conjunctivitis with keratitis (EKC) occurred in patients who had visited a private ophthalmology clinic just prior to onset of illness. Among an estimated 2,200 patient visits to the office from August 10 to October 15, 1981 for problems unrelated to infectious conjunctivitis, 39 (1.8%) persons subsequently developed EKC. The median incubation period was 6.5 days (range, 1 to 14 days). A case-control study was done to identify risk factors associated with contracting EKC; patients with EKC were more likely than control patients to have been examined by one or the other of two of the four ophthalmologists at the clinic and to have undergone procedures such as tonometry or foreign body removal. Adenovirus was isolated from conjunctival swabs from four of five persons with conjunctivitis; three were type 8 and one was type 7. Recognition of the problem and improved handwashing practices were associated with terminating the outbreak. This outbreak illustrates the potential for transmission of adenovirus infection during the provision of eye care. Infection control practitioners should be familiar with measures for the prevention of such infections among ophthalmology patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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