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Respiratory and Enteric Viruses in Pediatric Care Settings

The typical common respiratory viruses found in pediatric areas include rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenoviruses, and influenza viruses. They are transmitted by direct contact with small particle aerosols or hands contaminated with respiratory secretions to the children’s noses and eyes. Frequent touch surfaces which can be contaminated for periods of time from 30 minutes to 10 hours may also be a source of hand contamination. Enteric viruses found in pediatric areas include enteric adenovirus, astroviruses, caliciviruses, and rotavirus. The transmission of these viruses is typically through the fecal-oral route from contaminated surfaces and fomites (an inanimate object which is contaminated which can transmit microorganisms to an individual). Organisms may also be transmitted through the creation of aerosols during vomiting. These viruses may cause a variety of enteric diseases.

Best Practices for Control of Respiratory and Enteric Viruses in Pediatric Care Settings

  • • Use intensive cleaning procedures to remove all visible soil including fecal material and vomit from frequent touch surfaces and any other surfaces and then dispose of the cleaning solution into a toilet in a very careful manner as not to produce aerosols. Dispose of the cleaning materials in special packaging for biologically active materials.
  • • Use either fresh quaternary ammonium chloride compound solutions or chlorine solutions to disinfect the area after all visible soil has been removed. Wear disposable protective clothing, gloves, and where appropriate masks, when performing the cleaning and disinfecting operation and remove them to a special contaminated clothing area for special processing.
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