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Pediatrics. 1997 Dec;100(6):943-6.

Nosocomial respiratory syncytial virus infection in Canadian pediatric hospitals: a Pediatric Investigators Collaborative Network on Infections in Canada Study.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Izaak Walton Killam Grace Health Centre and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.



To determine nosocomial transmission of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Canadian pediatric hospitals, outcomes associated with nosocomial disease, and infection control practices.


A prospective cohort study in the 1992 to 1994 winter respiratory seasons.


Nine Canadian pediatric university-affiliated hospitals.


Hospitalized children with symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection (at least one of cough, wheezing, dyspnea, tachypnea, and apnea) and RSV antigen identified in a nasopharyngeal aspirate.


Of 1516 children, 91 (6%) had nosocomial RSV (NRSV), defined as symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection and RSV antigen beginning >72 hours after admission. The nosocomial ratio (NRSV/[com-munity-acquired RSV {CARSV})] + NRSV) varied by site from 2.8% to 13%. The median length of stay attributable to RSV for community-acquired illness was 5 days, but 10 days for nosocomial illness. Four children with NRSV (4. 4%) died within 2 weeks of infection, compared with 6 (0.42%) with CARSV (relative risk = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 3.0, 36.4). All sites isolated RSV-positive patients in single rooms or cohorted them. In a multivariate model, no particular isolation policy was associated with decreased nosocomial ratio, but gowning to enter the room was associated with increased risk of RSV transmission (incidence rate ratio 2.81; confidence interval: 1.65, 4.77).


RSV transmission risk in Canadian pediatric hospitals is generally low. Although use of barrier methods varies, all sites cohort or isolate RSV-positive patients in single rooms. Children with risk factors for severe disease who acquire infection nosocomially have prolonged stays and excess mortality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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