Purpose To investigate an outbreak of echovirus-related keratoconjunctivitis. Methods We undertook a retrospective study of recent cases of echovirus infection with recall and further evaluation of conjunctivitis patients. All patients from whom an echovirus was isolated in Liverpool during 1995 were included. The natural course of ocular echovirus disease was studied, including the likelihood of echovirus keratoconjunctivitis being linked with meningitis and the risk of long-term carriage of the virus in the conjunctiva. Results Of 10 unrelated patients with echovirus conjunctivitis, six also had a mild keratitis. None of these patients developed meningitis, and no cases of long-term carriage in the conjunctiva were encountered. There was no link between cases of echovirus meningitis and conjunctivitis. There was no corresponding increase in other ocular viral isolates. Conclusions Echovirus is a relatively unrecognized cause of keratoconjunctivitis. Echoviral keratoconjunctivitis appears to be an independent ocular event unassociated with systemic sequelae. Long-term carriage in the conjunctiva does not appear to occur.