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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1991 Mar;10(3):248-50.

An outbreak of Cryptosporidium diarrhea in a pediatric hospital.

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Residency Program in Applied Epidemiology, Mexico City, Mexico.



Physicians investigated a nosocomial diarrhea outbreak among 11 2 year old undernourished children in the nutrition service of the pediatric teaching hospital, Hospital Infantile, in Mexico City, Mexico in April 1988. Health practitioners took at least 2 stool samples from each ill child to be analyzed for Cryptosporidium oocysts. The attack rate stood st 82%. The hospital admitted a malnourished child with chronic diarrhea and pneumonia on March 22. Laboratory tests revealed that he had many Cryptosporidium oocysts and was positive for HIV. Hospital staff did not isolate him. He died on May 9 of Escherichia coli and Candida septicemia. The outbreak ended 1 week later. Laboratory tests detected Cryptosporidium oocysts in 9 cases all of whom were 3-13 months old. Further the symptoms (mean duration 14 days, fever [mean peak 38.6 degrees Celsius, and vomiting] matched those of other reported Cryptosporidium diarrhea outbreaks. The epidemic curve suggested a common source of the outbreak. Since the infants received intravenous feedings or sterilized formula, food and water could not have been the source. The physicians believed the AIDS case was that source. Direct person to person transmission was probably not responsible since each infant had his/her own separate crib. Even though the physicians could not conclusively identify the vehicle of transmission, it was most likely the hands of hospitals staff either directly by touching the infants or by contaminating the nasogastric tubes. After the outbreak, the physicians observed that only 30% of medical personnel indeed washed their hands before caring for an infant. 4 previous studies on nosocomial Cryptosporidium diarrhea outbreaks also reported the source case as immunodeficient, but these studies only included adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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