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July 18, 1980

Infection Control

JAMA. 1980;244(3):238-239. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310030014009

To the Editor.—  Regarding the article entitled "Inappropriate Federal Requirements for Air Control in Hospital Isolation Rooms" (242:1971, 1979), while describing a variety of diseases requiring isolation, Frank S. Rhame, MD, refers to "severe Staphylococcus aureus and group A streptococcus infections" as well as "major skin infections" as characteristic examples. This somewhat permissive quotation is likely to strengthen the currently prevailing misconception that less than severe open infections do not call for strict isolation.Although the wording of Dr Rhame's statement might have been a slip of pen rather than an indication of his philosophies, the fact remains that the lighthearted approach to infection control that his comments appear to reflect has become commonplace in contemporary teaching institutions.1,2 The catastrophic effects of physicians' failure to implement strict measures of asepsis and isolation in hospitals have been documented unequivocally during both the pre-antibiotic era of medicine3 and the past