An outbreak of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis at an outpatient ophthalmology clinic

  • Timothy J Doyle | CDC, United States.
  • Diane King
  • Judith Cobb
  • Darlene Miller
  • Barbara Johnson


Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) is an acute eye infection caused by adenovirus. We investigated an outbreak of EKC at an outpatient ophthalmology practice in the context of a suspected community wide increase in EKC activity. A site visit was made to the facility reporting the outbreak. A line list was created of patients clinically diagnosed with EKC at the practice during the previous 5 months. A questionnaire was faxed to all other licensed ophthalmologists in the county regarding recent EKC activity in their facility. Descriptive data analyses were conducted. The outbreak facility reported 37 patients clinically diagnosed with EKC during the previous 5 months. In addition, the single ophthalmologist at the practice also had symptoms compatible with EKC during the outbreak period. Specimens were collected on 4 patients and all were positive for adenovirus serotype 8. Forty percent of ophthalmologists surveyed in the county saw at least one EKC patient in the previous 3 months, and 20% reported a perceived increase in EKC activity in recent months over normal seasonal patterns. The outbreak at the facility likely began as part of a widespread community increase in EKC that may have been amplified at the facility through nosocomial transmission. Medical providers experiencing increases in EKC activity above seasonally expected norms should contact their public health department for assistance with etiologic diagnoses and outbreak control.



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Brief Reports
EKC, outbreak, adenovirus
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How to Cite
Doyle, T. J., King, D., Cobb, J., Miller, D., & Johnson, B. (2010). An outbreak of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis at an outpatient ophthalmology clinic. Infectious Disease Reports, 2(2), e17.