Pharyngoconjunctival Fever (PCF) Follow-up

Updated: Apr 16, 2021
  • Author: Ingrid U Scott, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Further Outpatient Care

Patients should return in 1-3 weeks for follow-up care but sooner if the condition worsens.



Prevention of transmission, especially in the health care facility, is extremely important.

Careful hand washing before seeing every patient, proper cleansing of instruments, and frequent changing of multiuse ophthalmic drops are vital.

Using a single infective examination room and educating the staff and the patient are also essential.

Patients should be instructed to take contagion and isolation precautions for at least 2 weeks or as long as the eyes are red and weeping.



Potential complications include the following:

  • Punctate keratitis with subepithelial infiltrates

  • Bacterial superinfection

  • Chronic infection

  • Steroid drop dependence: Many ophthalmologists with this disease who have access to topical steroid samples have become dependent upon steroids and experience a protracted clinical course with prolonged corneal opacification.



Most cases of PCF are acute, benign, and self-limited. The infection usually resolves spontaneously within 2-3 weeks. Subepithelial infiltrates may last for several months (or longer), and, if in the visual axis, they may cause glare or decreased vision. Specific adenovirus serotypes, including 8, 19, 29, and 37, may be associated with keratitis.


Patient Education

To allay patient anxiety, patients should be informed that their symptoms may worsen during the first 4-7 days after onset before they begin to improve, and they may not resolve for 2-3 weeks. The contagiousness of the infection also should be emphasized, and proper isolation from work or school is advisable to prevent epidemics in the office and at school.

For patient education resources, see the Eye and Vision Center, as well as Pinkeye.