Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis is a highly contagious disease whose transmission has been linked to the ophthalmologist's office. The authors studied the ability of adenovirus 19 (ADV 19) to survive on surfaces commonly found in the office setting. An initial in vitro laboratory experiment demonstrated that ADV 19 in a desiccated state could be recovered up to 8 days from paper, and up to 10 days from cloth, metal, and plastic. The amount of recovered ADV 19 was significantly greater (analysis of variance, P less than 0.0001) from nonporous surfaces (plastic, metal) compared with porous surfaces (cloth, paper). A second experiment demonstrated that 35 days was the maximum length of time that desiccated ADV 19 could be recovered from a nonporous surface (plastic). The authors conclude that despite drying, ADV 19 is a hearty virus that remains potentially infectious for a long time on various surfaces that may be found in an ophthalmologist's office.