A concurrent epidemic of respiratory syncytial virus and echovirus 7 infections in an intensive care nursery

Academic Article


  • We describe concurrent outbreaks of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Echovirus 7 (Echo 7) infections in a neonatal intensive care unit, including infants who had dual infections. Seventy-three infants were identified as having RSV from January through June, 1984. During the same surveillance period Echo 7 was cultured from 20 infants, and 6 infants had concurrent RSV and Echo 7 infections. There were 4 infants from whom Echo 7 and RSV were isolated, but not concurrently, This dual outbreak of RSV and Echo 7 infections persisted for months despite infection control measures. Control procedures were complicated by: (1) cases of RSV infection at less than 72 hours of age, which had not previously been reported and which led to the reintroduction of RSV into 'clean' areas; (2) the lack of a rapid diagnostic test for enterovirus infection; (3) the number of infants who were asymptomatic with each infection; and (4) the logistical problems of handling a dual pathogen outbreak in a confined setting. These problems were compounded by the many risk factors associated with nosocomial infections found in neonatal intensive care settings such as prolonged hospitalizations, endotracheal or nasogastric tubes and contact with many ancillary care personnel.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wilson CW; Stevenson DK; Arvin AM
  • Start Page

  • 24
  • End Page

  • 29
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 1