Journal Article

Nosocomial Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections: The “Cold War” Has Not Ended

Caroline Breese Hall

Edited by Robert A. Weinstein

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue 2, pages 590-596
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/313960
Nosocomial Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections: The “Cold War” Has Not Ended

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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major nosocomial hazard on pediatric wards during its annual outbreaks. It produces significant morbidity in young children and is most severe in those with underlying conditions, especially cardiopulmonary and immunosuppressive diseases. In older patients, RSV may exacerbate an underlying condition or pulmonary and cardiac manifestations. On transplant units, of RSV may be occult and is associated with high mortality rates. The manifestations of nosocomial RSV infections may be atypical, especially in neonates and immunosuppressed patients, resulting in delayed or missed diagnosis and adding appreciably to the costs of hospitalization. RSV is primarily spread by close contact with infectious secretions, either by large-particle aerosols or by fomites and subsequent self-inoculation, and medical staff are often instrumental in its transmission. Thus, integral to any infection control program is the education of personnel about the modes of transmission, the manifestations, and the importance of RSV nosocomial infections. Hand washing is probably the most important infection control procedure. The choice of barrier controls should be decided by individual institutions depending on the patients, the type of ward, and the benefit relative to cost.

Journal Article.  5241 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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