A recent epidemic of acute conjunctivitis in Singapore showed again the importance of Coxsackie virus type A24 variant as a causative agent of acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC). Although the ocular manifestations appeared similar to those described for the 1970 and 1975 outbreaks, a markedly higher rate of respiratory involvements was noted. Not observed in previous epidemics were herpes-like vesicles in the conjunctiva and eyelids of one patient and vesicles in the buccal mucosa and lips of another from whom Coxsackie virus A24 was isolated. The most interesting finding in this study was the isolation of five wild (non-Sabin) poliovirus type 1 strains. Three strains were obtained from conjunctival and two from throat swabs of patients with mild to severe conjunctivitis. It is conceivable that the rare reports of polio-like paralysis or radiculomyelitis accompanying or following AHC in a few Asian countries could be attributed to concurrent infections with a poliovirus and either enterovirus type 70 or Coxsackie virus type A24.
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