Nav: Home

Common viruses prove dangerous in long-term care facility

January 09, 2017

NEW YORK (January 9, 2017) - A widespread outbreak of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) at a long-term dementia care ward infected 73 percent of patients, demonstrating the serious challenges in mitigating the spread of infectious diseases in such settings. The outbreak led to improved protocols for protecting particularly vulnerable patients, including active screening and more efficient separation of ill and healthy residents and healthcare professionals during cold and flu season, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

"Long-term care facilities have unique challenges. Infection control policies from acute care hospitals cannot simply be mirrored in this setting and expected to work," said S. Schaefer Spires, MD, lead author of the study and assistant professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. "RSV and HMPV are viruses that need to be taken as seriously as we take the flu, especially in older adults."

The retrospective study assessed a 16-day outbreak at a Tennessee facility in which 30 of 41 patients contracted at least one of the viruses, 15 had to be hospitalized, and five died. Healthcare personnel attempted various infection control measures including grouping patients and staff, isolation precautions for patients with suspected illness, and stopping group activities. Testing of patients with suspected illness was completed offsite, delaying results and preventing timely adjustments in infection control measures.

The unit's healthcare personnel identified cases through twice-daily assessments, but separation of ill and healthy residents and staff was particularly difficult because of widespread illness among healthcare personnel. This reduction in the work force required available personnel to treat all patients, further hindering infection control efforts.

The patients' underlying comorbid illness of dementia created exceptional challenges. Patients were unable to report symptoms often delaying identification of new cases, and their inability to adhere to recommended restrictions limited the success of infection control precautions. Because of a past case of a patient trying to ingest alcohol-based hand rub, dispensers were not widely available for convenient hand hygiene. By the second week, availability of personal protective equipment became problematic because the need for isolation carts exceeded the number available.

"Early detection of a contagious pathogen and identification of infected patients is important when trying to prevent an outbreak. However, once a certain number of residents were infected, we had almost no chance at preventing further cases from developing," said Spires. "Now that better technology is available to detect viruses other than influenza on a more routine basis, we are recognizing the importance of RSV, HMPV, and other viruses in causing such morbidity in the older adult population. There is a clear need for vaccines and new antivirals to aid our efforts in prevention of these viral infections."

As a result of this outbreak, the facility has improved its culture of safety, including heightened awareness of these pathogens and of the importance of hand hygiene and personal protective equipment. Additionally, to speed identification of pathogens, the facility now has a partnership with a private laboratory to provide respiratory viral testing within 24 to 48 hours.
-end-
Steven Schaeffer Spires, H. Keipp Talbot, Carolyn Pope, Thomas R Talbot. "Paramyxovirus outbreak in a long-term care facility: The challenges of infection control in a congregate setting." Web (January 9, 2017).

About ICHE

Published through a partnership between the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Cambridge University Press, Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology provides original, peer reviewed scientific articles for anyone involved with an infection control or epidemiology program in a hospital or healthcare facility. ICHE is ranked 13th out of 158 journals in its discipline in the latest Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters.

SHEA is a professional society representing physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world with expertise and passion in healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections, improve the use of antibiotics in healthcare settings, and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA improves patient care and healthcare personnel safety in all healthcare settings through the critical contributions of healthcare epidemiology and improved antibiotic use. The society leads this specialty by promoting science and research, advocating for effective policies, providing high-quality education and training, and developing appropriate guidelines and guidance in practice. Visit SHEA online at http://www.shea-online.org, http://www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.

About Cambridge Journals

Cambridge University Press publishes over 350 peer-reviewed academic journals across a wide spread of subject areas, in print and online. Many of these journals are leading academic publications in their fields and together form one of the most valuable and comprehensive bodies of research available today.

For further information about Cambridge Journals, visit journals.cambridge.org

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University's mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 45,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 350 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.

Playing a leading role in today's international market place, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world.

For further information about Cambridge University Press, visit cambridge.org

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

Related Infectious Diseases Articles:

Critical gaps in our knowledge of where infectious diseases occur
Today Scientists have called for action. The scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution have published a joint statement from scientists at Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen and North Carolina State University.
'Flying syringes' could detect emerging infectious diseases
Blood-sucking flies can act as 'flying syringes' to detect emerging infectious diseases in wild animals before they spread to humans, according to research published in the journal eLife.
27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Media can register now for the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Vienna, Saturday 22 April to Tuesday 25 April 2017.
Young doctors working in infectious diseases suffering burnout and bullying
One in five physicians working in medical microbiology and infectious diseases is suffering from burnout, bullying and poor work-life balance.
Gut cells are gatekeepers of infectious brain diseases, study finds
Fresh insights into infectious brain conditions help to explain why some people -- and animals -- are more at risk than others.
More than 3 million children under 5 years old will die from infectious diseases next year
A new report outlines the alarming burden of pediatric infectious diseases across the world.
New global migration mapping to help fight against infectious diseases
Geographers at the University of Southampton have completed a large scale data and mapping project to track the flow of internal human migration in low and middle income countries.
More research is needed on how climate change affects infectious diseases
It is time we act proactively to minimize the effect of climate change on our health, say the researchers behind a new review published in Environment International.
A global early warning system for infectious diseases
In the recent issue of EMBO reports, Barbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and John Drake of the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology call for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases.
Ways of reducing the transmission of infectious diseases in transport hubs
Transport plays a major role in the spread of transmissible diseases.

Related Infectious Diseases Reading:

Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases: 2-Volume Set
by John E. Bennett MD MACP (Author), Raphael Dolin MD (Author), Martin J. Blaser MD (Author)

Infectious Diseases, 2-Volume Set
by Jonathan Cohen M Sc FRCP FRCPath FRCPE FMedSci (Author), William G Powderly MD (Author), Steven M. Opal MD (Author)

Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases: 2-Volume Set
by James Cherry MD MSc (Author), Gail J. Demmler-Harrison MD (Author), Sheldon L. Kaplan MD (Author), William J. Steinbach MD (Author), Peter J Hotez MD PhD (Author)

Infectious Diseases A Clinical Short Course 3/E (In Thirty Days Series)
by Frederick S. Southwick (Author)

Red Book 2018: Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases
by David W. Kimberlin MD FAAP (Editor), Sarah S. Long MD FAAP (Editor), Michael T. Brady MD FAAP (Editor), Mary Anne Jackson MD FAAP (Editor)

Essentials of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Second Edition
by William F. Wright DO MPH (Editor)

Alton's Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman's Guide to Available Antibacterials in Austere Settings
by Joseph Alton MD (Author), Amy Alton ARNP (Author)

Harrison's Infectious Diseases, Third Edition (Harrison's Specialty)
by Dennis L. Kasper (Author), Anthony S. Fauci (Author)

Graphic Guide to Infectious Disease
by Brian Kloss DO JD PA-C (Author), Travis Bruce BFA (Author)

Evidence-Based Infectious Diseases (Evidence-Based Medicine)
by Dominik Mertz (Editor), Fiona Smaill (Editor), Nick Daneman (Editor)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#514 Arctic Energy (Rebroadcast)
This week we're looking at how alternative energy works in the arctic. We speak to Louie Azzolini and Linda Todd from the Arctic Energy Alliance, a non-profit helping communities reduce their energy usage and transition to more affordable and sustainable forms of energy. And the lessons they're learning along the way can help those of us further south.