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Virus Cross-infection in Paediatric Wards

Br Med J 1973; 2 doi: (Published 09 June 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;2:571
  1. P. S. Gardner,
  2. S. D. M. Court,
  3. J. T. Brocklebank,
  4. M. A. P. S. Downham,
  5. D. Weightman


    In a survey of virus cross-infection in paediatric wards there were 15 cross-infections due to respiratory syncytial (R.S.) virus and 16 due to influenza A, both during a four-month period, and 19 due to parainfluenza viruses over two years. The illnesses produced by these infections acquired in hospital ranged from a slight cold to severe pneumonia: in 17 of the 50 cases the illness involved the lower respiratory tract. A measure of cross-infection frequency in the form of a “cross-infection rate” has been devised, and it is suggested that this can be used to assess the influence of factors such as ward design and admission policy on the frequency of cross-infection.