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Clothes Can Carry Dangerous Germs to ICU Babies

Image: Clothes Can Carry Dangerous Germs to ICU Babies
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By    |   Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 02:39 PM


The clothes of parents and other visitors who visit babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) sometimes carry a potentially deadly germ on their clothing, according to a study from Australia's University of New South Wales.

Researchers found respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) on 4 percent of samples taken from clothes worn by visitors to NICU in the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney. While the virus was found on the hands of doctors, nurses, or visitors, it was also found on 9 percent of the areas most touched in the NICU, including bed rails and nurses' computers.

RSV is the leading cause of hospitalizations among premature babies.

Investigators collected data once a week for two months. They collected specimens from the hands, nose, and clothing of doctors, nurses, and visitors in the NICU. Nasal swabs were also collected from the infants admitted to the unit. The swabs were then tested for RSV.

"Though the detection rate is low, personal clothing of caregivers/visitors do get contaminated with RSV," said Dr. Nusrat Homaira. Caregivers and visitors are not required to change clothing when they walk into the NICU. "There is a need for further research to evaluate how long the virus remains infectious on personal clothing, which will have policy implications in terms of need for use of separate gowns by the visitors while they are in the NICU," Homaira added.

The study authors concluded that more cleaning of areas frequently touched, and screening of visitors to the NICU might help limit the transmission of the disease.

The research was presented at the International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia.

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The clothes of parents and other visitors who visit babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) sometimes carry a potentially deadly germ on their clothing, according to a study from Australia's University of New South Wales. Researchers found respiratory syncytial virus...
clothes, dangerous, germs, ICU, babies
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2015-39-26
Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 02:39 PM
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