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April 1991

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections on an Adult Medical Ward

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine (Drs Takimoto and Root), University of California, San Francisco; and Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Veterans Affairs Martinez (Calif) Hospital (Dr Cram).

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(4):706-708. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400040058013

Eleven cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection occurred in acutely ill hospitalized adults over a 7-week period. Nosocomial illness was suspected in two patients. Because RSV can cause serious infections in immunocompromised adults with the potential for nosocomial spread, the following recommendations are indicated: (1) during the winter months, early recognition and diagnosis of RSV infections both in hospital staff and in patients should be encouraged; (2) infected hospital personnel should avoid patient contact when possible; (3) during outbreaks, careful attention must be paid to hand washing and gloving; and (4) a high level of vigilance for RSV infection should be maintained on units with immunocompromised patients. Increased awareness of the potential risks of RSV infection is needed on adult medical units.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:706-708)