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J Infect Dis. 1980 Jan;141(1):98-102.

Possible transmission by fomites of respiratory syncytial virus.


To test whether nosocomial spread of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) could occur through contact with environmental surfaces contaminated by RSV-infected nasal secretions, survival in the environment of RSV isolated from media, pooled adult secretions, and secretions from hospitalized infants was examined. RSV in freshly obtained infant secretions was recovered from countertops for up to 6 hr, from rubber gloves for up to 1 1/2 hr, from cloth gowns and paper tissue for 30--45 min, and from skin for up to 20 min. RSV in media and pooled secretions survived for slightly longer periods. Further experiments demonstrated that infectious virus could be transferred to hands touching these contaminated surfaces and could be recovered from these hands for up to 25 min. These studies suggest that survival of RSV in the environment of infected infant secretions is sufficient to allow transfer of infectious virus to the hands of hospital personnel. Thus, self-inoculation by contact with contaminated infant secretions may be a potential mode of nosocomial transmission of RSV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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