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Semin Respir Infect. 1989 Dec;4(4):253-60.

Nosocomial viral respiratory infections.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY.


Nosocomial infections with respiratory tract viruses, particularly influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses, account for the majority of serious nosocomial viral disease. Chronically ill, immunocompromised, elderly, and very young hosts are especially vulnerable to potentially life-threatening involvement of the lower respiratory tract. Effective preventive strategies are based upon early accurate viral diagnosis and an appreciation of the epidemiology and mechanisms of transmission for each viral agent. Influenza viruses spread via airborne dispersion of small particle aerosols, resulting in explosive outbreaks; control measures emphasize immunization and chemoprophylaxis of susceptible patients and personnel, and isolation of those already infected. Transmission of respiratory syncytial virus, in contrast, seems to require closer contact, with virus passed on hands, fomites, or in large droplets inoculated into the eyes and nose at close range. Strategies for control of nosocomial respiratory syncytial virus are designed to interrupt hand carriage and inoculation of virus onto mucous membranes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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