Continuous, generalized 2.5 to 3.5-Hz spike-wave (Sm7) discharges were evident in an EEG performed 13 h after a first seizure associated with a viral illness, in an 8-year-old girl. On eye opening, the EEG abnormality was suppressed and replaced by delta activity and brief spike-wave paroxysms. No alteration in consciousness and seizures or behavioral abnormalities accompanied the EEG findings. Based on the EEG, she was diagnosed as having ''diffuse electrical status,'' the rare EEG phenomenon that occurs during wakefulness without associated behavioral changes. Although the child was completely normal clinically, the EEG findings persisted during a 9-year-follow-up period. Ethosuximide (ESM) 1 gr daily resulted in temporary disappearance of the bioelectrical status. During the last 2 years without medication the EEG finding tended to be restricted to the posterior regions.