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July 11, 1990

Cytomegalovirus Infection Among Employees of a Children's Hospital

Author Affiliations

University of Virginia Health Sciences Center Charlottesville

University of Virginia Health Sciences Center Charlottesville

JAMA. 1990;264(2):185. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450020037021

To the Editor.—  Pediatric nurses, suggested to be at risk for cytomegalovirus, were lumped together in the study by Balcarek et al1 with other workers for whom there has been no suggestion of risk (eg, audiologists, electrocardiography technicians, and so on), and the study does not identify the numbers of infections or person-years of follow-up of nurses in this study, which would be useful to calculate a nurse-specific relative risk and confidence interval, to evaluate with previous studies, and to look for an anticipated decrease in nurses' risk after implementation of universal precautions.2 Balcarek et al echo the epidemiologic criticism from our meta-analysis of the previous 12 cohort studies2 for failing to provide information on potential confounding variables, but do not account for sexual activity and for presence of children in the home who attend day-care centers, two prominent cytomegalovirus risk factors. They suggest without data