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March 11, 1983

Acute Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis: Investigation of a Large-scale Community Outbreak in Dade County, Florida

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta (Drs Patriarca, Onorato, Schonberger, Hatch, and Morens and Ms Kaminski); and the Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami (Drs Sklar and Forster).

JAMA. 1983;249(10):1283-1289. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330340025025

An outbreak of acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) due to enterovirus type 70 occurred in Dade County, Florida, from September to December 1981. Younger age groups, members of larger households, and the poor were at significantly greater risk of acquiring AHC than others in the community. Schoolchildren were most likely to introduce AHC into the household. After exclusion of all affected children from school, there was a dramatic reduction in reported cases, with attack rates declining more rapidly for school-aged children than for other age groups. Although AHC spread readily among family members, a retrospective study of 124 affected households showed an association between lower attack rates and simple hygienic measures. Should outbreaks of AHC recur, measures to reduce transmission should include exclusion of affected schoolchildren and educating the public about hygienic precautions.

(JAMA 1983;249:1283-1289)