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Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Apr 1;36(7):870-6. Epub 2003 Mar 19.

Infectious disease outbreaks in nursing homes: an unappreciated hazard for frail elderly persons.

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Infectious Disease Section, Division of Hospital and Specialty Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


The common occurrence and dire consequences of infectious disease outbreaks in nursing homes often go unrecognized and unappreciated. Nevertheless, these facilities provide an ideal environment for acquisition and spread of infection: susceptible residents who share sources of air, food, water, and health care in a crowded institutional setting. Moreover, visitors, staff, and residents constantly come and go, bringing in pathogens from both the hospital and the community. Outbreaks of respiratory and gastrointestinal infection predominate in this setting, but outbreaks of skin and soft-tissue infection and infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant bacteria also occur with some frequency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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