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Echovirus 30 (E 30) outbreaks in defined cohorts have rarely been reported. In June 1996, an outbreak of E 30 occurred in four day-care centers (DCCs) in neighboring villages in Germany. A retrospective cohort study of DCC children, employees and household members was done to determine the extent of the outbreak and risk factors for illness. Forty-two percent (39/92) of DCC children, 13% (30/228) of their household members, 5% (1/19) of employees and 2% (1/49) of household members of employees were ill. Onsets occurred over 31 days. Thirteen percent (12/92) of DCC children had meningitis. In only one of 16 households with multiple family members ill, illness in a family member preceeded that of the DCC child. Household members of ill DCC children were 15 times more likely to report illness than those of non-ill DCC children. We conclude that this outbreak was associated with a very high incidence of meningitis, the outbreak began in the DCCs and then spread to household members, and that household members of ill children compared to those of non-ill children were much more likely to report illness.