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A Large Outbreak Of Keratoconjunctivitis Due To Adenovirus Type 8

Shirley Richmond, Reeta Burman, Elaine Crosdale, Linda Cropper, Damien Longson, Bridget E. Enoch, C. L. Dodd

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SummaryA large nosocomial outbreak of keratoconjunctivitis due to adenovirus type 8 is described. Two hundred cases were identified, 123 by isolation of the virus and 77 by detecting HI antibodies in convalescent sera. Infection usually presented as a severe keratoconjunctivitis, and 107 (54%) of infected patients developed sub-epithelial corneal opacities. The majority (66%) of infections were acquired at the accident and emergency department attached to a large urban eye hospital when patients attended for other reasons; trauma to the eye, especially corneal foreign bodies, was the most frequent cause for the initial attendance. Transmission of virus within the family occurred in 13% of cases, but there was little spread outside family or hospital environments. The outbreak lasted from May to September, 1982, but it was not confirmed by isolation of the virus until the end of June when control measures were instituted. Delay in applying control measures was probably the major factor accounting for this large, prolonged outbreak of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis.