Papers And Originals

Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Hospital Cross-infection

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 18 September 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:671
  1. R. K. Ditchburn,
  2. Joyce McQuillin,
  3. P. S. Gardner,
  4. S. D. M. Court


    During an epidemic of respiratory syncytial (R.S.) virus in Newcastle upon Tyne 13 children developed R.S. virus infections while in hospital with other conditions. R.S. virus infection was also noted in four members of the staff. In two of the hospital wards outbreaks developed. All children infected with R.S. virus developed symptoms. The symptoms varied with age; two children aged 2 months or less developed colds, as did five children over 1 year of age. One child of 15 months with Werdnig-Hoffman disease, though suffering from a cold, later developed pulmonary collapse. All five children aged 3 to 8 months developed bronchiolitis. The effectiveness of special nursing in cubicles was probably diminished because adults with mild colds were excreting virus. The dangers of R.S. virus infection to other children in the ward, especially those with congenital heart disease, is emphasized.