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Type: Journal article
Title: A survey of nosocomial respiratory viral infections in a children's hospital: occult respiratory infection in patients admitted during an epidemic season
Author: Goldwater, P.
Martin, A.
Ryan, B.
Morris, S.
Thompson, J.
Kok, T.
Burrell, C.
Citation: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 1991; 12(4):231-238
Publisher: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Issue Date: 1991
ISSN: 0899-823X
Statement of
Paul N. Goldwater, A. James Martin, Brownwyn Ryan, Sylvia Morris, Jill Thompson, T.W. Kok, Christopher J. Burrell
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To define the extent of shedding of respiratory viruses and Mycoplasma pneumoniae among a population of pediatric patients admitted to the hospital during a winter epidemic period and to identify nosocomial infections within this population. DESIGN: An open, prospective survey of patients admitted to three wards (General Medical, Respiratory Infectious, and Infectious Diseases) of a pediatric hospital during a defined three-month period. PATIENTS: All patients with medical, respiratory, and infectious conditions admitted to three wards of the Adelaide Children's Hospital had nasopharyngeal aspirations performed at the time of admission with the purpose of documenting viral and M pneumoniae shedding. Patients were monitored daily for the development of symptoms of respiratory infection or new symptoms of respiratory disease. Such patients underwent a further nasopharyngeal aspiration for the purpose of diagnosing hospital-acquired infection. RESULTS: Nasopharyngeal aspirations were obtained from 601 patients. Forty-seven percent of asymptomatic patients were positive for a respiratory virus or M pneumoniae, and 61% of patients with respiratory symptoms were also positive. Gastroenteritis patients shed viruses in 66% of cases. Respiratory symptoms were initially overlooked by admitting physicians but subsequently identified in 110 cases, and 46% of these were found to be positive for a respiratory virus or M pneumoniae. There were 18 possible hospital acquired infections among the 293 initially virus-negative patients. Multiple isolates were obtained from a substantial number of patients, especially those with respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: A substantial proportion of all patients admitted to a pediatric hospital during winter represent a potential source of infection, and strict infection control measures should be enacted to limit the spread of these infections.
Keywords: Respiratory Syncytial Viruses; Cross Infection; Respiratory Tract Infections
Rights: © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 1991
RMID: 0030009955
DOI: 10.2307/30146997
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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