Prevention & Treatment
CDC’s new resource, Prevent EKC, provides guidance on how to disinfect surfaces and equipment to help prevent and control outbreaks of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) in eye clinics. EKC is a severe and highly contagious form of viral conjunctivitis (pink eye). EKC is caused by adenoviruses, which are often resistant to many disinfectants.
Prevention of Outbreaks
Adenoviruses are resistant to many common disinfectants and can remain infectious for long periods on environmental surfaces and medical instruments. To prevent healthcare-associated outbreaks of adenovirus infections, such as epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, health care providers should strictly follow infection control practices, including contact and droplet precautions, and promptly respond to and report clusters of cases.
See 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings for more information. For recommendations on disinfecting adenovirus in the environment see Efficacy of hospital germicides against adenovirus 8, a common cause of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis in health care facilitiesExternal and Sensitivity of human adenoviruses to different groups of chemical biocides.External
Health care providers should follow the guidelines for preventing health-care-associated pneumonia for suspected cases of adenoviral pneumonia.
Currently, there is no adenovirus vaccine available for the general public.
A vaccine against adenovirus types 4 and 7 was given to U.S. military recruits from 1971 to 1999, but the manufacturer stopped producing the vaccine in 1999. A new live, oral vaccine against adenovirus types 4 and 7 was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2011 for only U.S. military personnel ages 17 through 50 who may be at higher risk for infection from these two adenovirus types. The vaccine is recommended by the U.S. Department of Defense for military recruits entering basic training in order to prevent acute respiratory disease. For more information about the vaccine, see Adenovirus Vaccine Information Statement (VIS).
There is no specific treatment for people with adenovirus infection. Most adenovirus infections are mild and don’t require any medical care; clinical care of adenovirus infections includes supportive management of symptoms and complications. Cidofovir has been used to treat severe adenovirus infections in people with immunocompromised systems in specific situations.
For more information, see
- Adenovirus Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
- Guidelines for Preventing Health-Care—Associated Pneumonia, 2003, Recommendations of CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee
- CDC. Adenovirus-associated epidemic keratoconjunctivitis outbreaks — four states, 2008–2010. MMWR. 2013;62(32);637-41.