a1 Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infections Diseases, Mailstop A-32, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, NE., Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
a2 Hot Springs County Hospital, Thermopolis, WY, USA
a3 Wyoming State Health Department, Cheyenne, WY, USA
a4 International Meniere's Disease Research Institute, Englewood, CO, USA
An epidemiologic investigation was conducted to characterize and evaluate the possibility of a viral aetiology of an outbreak of acute vertigo in Hot Springs Country, Wyoming, during autumn 1992. Case-finding identified Hot Springs County residents who sought medical attention for new onset vertigo during 1 August, 1992–31 January 1993. Thirty-five case-patients and 61 matched controls were interviewed and serum specimens were obtained during January 1993. Case-patients were more likely than controls to report symptoms (e.g. fatigue, sore throat, fever, diarrhoea) of antecedent acute illness. Case-patients did not have a significantly greater prevalence or mean titre of IgG antibodies to respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza viruses, Epstein–Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus than controls. Serologic evidence of recent enterovirus infection (IgM antibodies) was found for 74% of case-patients compared with 54% of controls (P < 0·05), suggesting a possible association between vertigo and enterovirus infection. Future studies are needed to define the role of enteroviruses in inner-ear diseases.
(Accepted March 19 1996)