Boston exanthem disease

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Boston exanthem disease
SpecialtyDermatology, infectious diseases
SymptomsFever, small flat pinkish marks, small bumps; typically on the face and chest, accompanying sores in the roof of the mouth or back of the throat[1]
CausesEchovirus 16

Boston exanthem disease is a skin condition caused by the virus echovirus 16.[1] It begins with a short fever, followed by the appearance of small flat pinkish marks which become small bumps, typically on the face and chest.[1] There may be accompanying sores in the roof of the mouth or back of the throat.[1]

it first occurred as an epidemic in Boston in 1951.[2] It is caused by echovirus 16.[3]: 398  The disease tends to afflict children more often than adults, although some adults can become infected, and the symptoms have never been fatal. It shows some clinical similarity to Rubella[4] and Human herpesvirus 6[5]


Boston, 1951

The first known outbreak of Boston exanthem disease occurred in late summer of 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts. The initial symptoms were thought to be Rubella, however the clinical features were different. Patients exhibited no Koplik's spots, the course of the infection was shorter, and the skin lesions differed from Rubella. Two physicians, Franklin A. Neva from the University of Pittsburgh, and Ilse J. Gorbach investigated the outbreak. Through surveys sent to physicians, 18 cases were identified and specimens collected, 15 children and 3 adults.[4]

Pittsburgh, 1954

An outbreak was first identified in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in June, 1954. Investigation in this suburb revealed an additional 17 cases. After notifying area physicians, an additional 7 cases were identified in other parts of the city. Cases occurred in both children and adults, with one adult hospitalized.[2]

The disease has also been reported in the United States in 1974, and Cuba in 2000.[citation needed]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ngan, Vanessa. "Enteroviral infections". Archived from the original on 20 March 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Neva, Franklin A. (May 3, 1956). "A second outbreak of Boston Exanthem Disease in Pittsburgh during 1954". New England Journal of Medicine. 254 (18): 838–843. doi:10.1056/nejm195605032541806. PMID 13309687.
  3. James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G.; et al. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Neva, Franklin A.; Feemster, Roy F.; Gorbach, Ilse J. (June 5, 1954). "Clinical and epidemiological features of an unusual epidemic exanthem". JAMA. 155 (6): 544–548. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690240010004. PMID 13162750.
  5. Rebora, Alfredo (2005). "Life-threatening cutaneous viral diseases". Clinics in Dermatology. 23 (2): 157–163. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2004.06.020. PMID 15802209.