Ninety cases of the neurological manifestations associated with acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis caused by Enterovirus 70 (EV 70) are reported. The patients were seen during the widespread epidemics in 1971 and 1981. Male adults were predominantly affected by a "polio-like" paralysis of the limbs and/or cranial nerves. Root pains were often complained of early in the disease. In the absence of a necropsy, clinical and neurophysiological examinations helped to localise the lesions. Significant antibody titres against EV 70 were demonstrated in the serum and more relevantly in the CSF. Though other viruses can cause sporadic and epidemic conjunctivitis and similar paralysis independently, the combination of a haemorrhagic conjunctivitis and a neurological disease mostly simulating poliomyelitis is caused by EV 70 alone. It is therefore suggested that this combination be called "Enterovirus 70 disease". Because of its neurovirulence, it is important to identify this virus at the very beginning of an epidemic of conjunctivitis, so as to limit its spread by strict public health measures.
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