December 31, 2014
1 min read

CDC: Aseptic meningitis outbreak among football players linked to echovirus 30

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Laboratory testing indicated an association between echovirus 30 and an outbreak of aseptic meningitis among high school football players in California, according to the CDC and Los Angeles County Department of Health.

Three cases of aseptic meningitis among football players at a Los Angeles county high school were reported to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in August 2014.

Further investigation identified 10 cases of aseptic meningitis associated with the initial outbreak. Patients, aged 13 to 17 years, were team or family members of the initial three cases.

Five patients were hospitalized and all 10 patients recovered.

Junior-varsity football players were the most affected, as 7 out of 57 players developed meningitis, indicating an attack rate of 12.3%.

According to Curtis Croker, MPH, of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and colleagues, football players who were lineman had a higher relative risk for aseptic meningitis compared with players who were not lineman (P=.03).

Eight patients tested positive for enterovirus via PCR; of these, seven tested positive for echovirus 30.

“This appears to be the first documented echovirus 30 aseptic meningitis outbreak in the United States among members of a sports team,” Croker and colleagues wrote.

Shared water bottles and poor hand hygiene were most likely responsible for disease transmission, according to investigators. To avoid future outbreaks, the CDC and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommended school staff members discourage shared water bottles and encourage good hand hygiene.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.