[Skip to Navigation]
July 1956

Epidemic Staphylococcal Gastroenteritis in a Newborn Nursery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, and the Pediatric Research Laboratories of the Variety Club Heart Hospital, University of Minnesota.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1956;92(1):45-56. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1956.02060030039010

The micro-organism responsible for the majority of infections occurring during the newborn period is the Staphylococcus. While sporadic cases of minor skin infection or the occasional occurrence of septicemia1 due to staphylococci are observed in most newborn nurseries, the more serious clinical forms of staphylococcal disease usually occur during epidemic outbreaks. A number of such epidemics have been reported recently,* and others are known to have occurred.f During these epidemics the most frequently observed clinical manifestations have been impetigo neonatorum, acute mastitis, deep subcutaneous abcesses, omphalitis, and conjunctivitis. More serious forms of infection reported as occurring during outbreaks of staphylococcal disease have included pneumonia,‡ with empyema,§ and pyopneumothorax ‖ and generalized sepsis.¶ With the exception of the report of Lyon and Rantz,18 gastroenteritis has not been emphasized as a primary manifestation of epidemic staphylococcal infection in the newborn infant.

Recently an outbreak of staphylococcal disease in the newborn