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Eur J Epidemiol. 1995 Oct;11(5):587-90.

Viral contamination of environmental surfaces on a general paediatric ward and playroom in a major referral centre in Riyadh.

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Department of Pathology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


In order to determine the incidence of viral contamination of environmental surfaces in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. A 6-month prospective study was carried out on a general paediatric ward in which both enteric and respiratory viruses were screened. Weekly samples were taken between August 1993-February 1994. A total of 155 samples were taken in which 11 (7%) tested positive for rotavirus. No other viruses were detected. Internal and external temperatures were monitored and an increase in rotavirus incidence was noted with decrease in temperature. Rotavirus was detected on surfaces involving human activity (toilet handles, televisions, toys and vital signs chart). One patient had rotavirus on his hands but no staff were found to carry rotavirus. Further contamination of environmental surfaces (9%) was detected during an increased incidence of rotavirus infection. A proper programme of disinfection and handwashing is essential in order to eliminate this mode of transmission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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