Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis: An enterovirus type 70 outbreak in Gizan, Saudi Arabia

M. F. Al Faran, K. F. Tabbara, H. M. Al-Kassimi, M. A. Madani, M. A. Arif, S. T. Ramia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) is a viral infection caused by enterovirus type 70 but can occasionally be caused by coxsackie virus type A-24. We report an epidemic of AHC in Gizan which, to our knowledge, is the first known outbreak of AHC caused by enterovirus type 70 witnessed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We examined a total of 41 patients with AHC. Twenty-nine (71%) patients were male and 12 (29%) were female. Twenty-one (51%) were under the age of 20 years. Onset in all patients was abrupt and the disease peaked within a few hours. The most common characteristics of the illness were subconjunctival hemorrhage (32 patients, 78%) and preauricular lymphadenopathy (30 patients, 73%). Enterovirus type 70 was isolated from four of 21 conjunctival scraping specimens. The successful isolation of the virus was due to the fact that conjunctival scrapings were obtained in the very early stage of the disease (within 48 hours) and transported immediately (within 3 hours) to the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-552
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Saudi Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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