ACUTE HEMORRHAGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS: CELEBRATING APOLLO 11’S THIRTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY

Title ACUTE HEMORRHAGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS: CELEBRATING APOLLO 11’S THIRTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY
Author, Co-Author Michelle Steenbakkers, Lloyd Pate, Padhmalath Segu
Topic
Year
2004
Day
Sunday
Program Number
Room
Affiliation
University of Houston, College of Optometry
Abstract BACKGROUND: Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) is a highly contagious infection characterized by eye pain, swelling and subconjunctival hemorrhages (SCH). AHC, also known as Apollo 11 disease, after the NASA Space Mission, was first described in 1969. Causative agents are enterovirus 70 and a variant of coxsackievirus A24. The condition is usually benign, and self-limiting; however, a polio-like paralysis develops in approximately one in 10,000 patients.



CASE REPORT(S): A 29-year-old Hispanic female presented with a five day history of bilateral red, painful eyes. Previous treatment with Vigamox 0.5% tid showed no improvement. Patient medical history was positive only for fever and forceful vomiting 3 days prior and was negative for medical or environmental allergies. Entering unaided visual acuities were 20/20 in each eye. Pupils, extraocular motilities and exophthalmometry were normal. A tender preauricular node on the left side was noted. She denied any increased neck pain or stiffness. Biomicroscopy revealed bruising of the lower eyelids, petechial hemorrhages on the inferior tarsal conjunctivae, prominent SCH, grade 3+ injection of the bulbar conjunctivae, and a quiet anterior chamber in both eyes. No membranes or pseudomembranes were present. Corneas were clear except for trace subepithelial infiltrates in the left eye. The posterior pole and periphery were unremarkable in both eyes. The patient was diagnosed with AHC and educated on the contagious nature of the infection. She was given artificial tears to use as needed, NaphconA bid, and instructed to discontinue Vigamox. At the one week follow-up, the AHC was resolving, with two small SCH in the left eye.

CONCLUSIONS: Even though AHC is self-limiting, appropriate follow-up examination should be performed to ensure resolution of the infection. Patient education and avoidance of infectious contact is paramount in decreasing the spread of AHC within the optometric practice and community. An overview of AHC and current research will be presented in this poster.
Affiliation of Co-Authors University of Houston, College of Optometry, University of Houston, College of Optometry
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