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November 1962

Virological Studies of Summer Exanthems

Author Affiliations


Research Fellow of the Medical Foundation, Inc., Boston, Research Fellow in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Thorndike Memorial Laboratory (Dr. Lerner); Research Fellow in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Dr. Cherry, Dr. Klein).; Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Second and Fourth (Harvard) Medical and Pediatric Services, Boston City Hospital, and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(5):687-692. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620230133018

Each summer many patients, predominantly in the pediatric age group, presenting benign exanthems, clearly not rubeola, varicella, or herpes simplex, are seen in the outpatient department, accident floor, and wards of this hospital. These illnesses are usually ascribed to household chemicals, parasites, heat, or medications. We were stimulated to study these eruptions because multiple cases seemed to occur over relatively short periods in families and in the community, suggesting a possible infectious origin. Several years before the initiation of this study Neva and Enders1 isolated a virus from the feces of patients with so-called Boston exanthem; this virus was later classified as ECHO 16,2 but most of the other enteroviruses associated with rashes were reported in patients with the aseptic meningitis syndrome.3

The present study represents an attempt to relate some of these summer rashes to various viral infections* known to be prevalent during the summer months