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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
October 9, 2013

Hundreds of Eye Infections Linked With Ophthalmology Clinics

JAMA. 2013;310(14):1439. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278202

Recent outbreaks of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) linked with human adenovirus infections are a stark reminder that hospitals, clinics, and other facilities providing ophthalmologic care need strict adherence to infection control measures.

During 2008 to 2010, 6 unrelated outbreaks that affected 411 people in 4 states were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreaks of EKC are common worldwide, with transmission often occurring during ophthalmologic examinations. In past outbreaks, the spread of cases has been associated with procedures such as tonometry, slitlamp examinations, and contact lens placement. Infected clinicians also have transmitted the highly contagious condition. Outbreaks generally last weeks to months; investigations, if done, often occur late in the outbreak.