Possible consequences of shaking hands with your patients with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis

M. J. Azar, D. K. Dhaliwal, K. S. Bower, R. P. Kowalski, Y. J. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: We evaluated patients' hands as a possible vector for the spread of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. METHODS: The hands and conjunctivas of 26 patients with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis and the hands of 26 uninfected control patients were cultured for infectious adenovirus. RESULTS: In 12 (46%) of 26 patients with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, cultures from the hands were positive for adenovirus, whereas cultures from the hands of all uninfected control patients were negative. CONCLUSIONS: Simultaneous coinfection of patients' hands and eyes with adenovirus may contribute to office epidemics. Ophthalmologists and coworkers should not shake the hands of patients suspected of having epidemic keratoconjunctivitis unless properly gloved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-712
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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