Which clinical history findings are characteristic of acute enteroviral hemorrhagic conjunctivitis?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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This highly contagious ocular infection can cause large-scale epidemics. AHC was first described in 1969. Enterovirus 70 is the most common etiology in epidemics. Coxsackievirus A24 causes a similar disease. AHC was initially recognized in Ghana and Indonesia and is now epidemic in India and the Far East. [44]

The first reported outbreak of AHC in United States was Key West, Florida, in 1981; subsequently, 2,500 cases were reported in Miami. Since then, with the exception of few imported cases, AHC activity has not been reported in the United States. [45]

The mode of transmission is from finger or fomite to eye. AHC is highly contagious, and crowding and unsanitary conditions favor spread. Reuse of water for bathing and sharing of towels have been implicated as factors contributing to the spread of infection. [46, 16]

Onset is abrupt, and the most common symptoms include ocular pain and burning, swelling of the eyelids, and the sensation of a foreign body in the eye. Patients may also experience photophobia and watery discharge. The other eye becomes involved within hours of the first eye.

Nonspecific symptoms such as fever, malaise, and headache may be present. The symptoms typically improve by the second or third day of infection, and recovery is complete within 7-10 days.

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