Transmission and prevention of acute viral respiratory tract infections in hospitals

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2019 May;25(3):220-224. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000566.


Purpose of review: Transmission of acute respiratory tract viral infections in healthcare environments is a major problem worldwide. We review recent literature of viruses imported to hospitals from the local community and from abroad, their modes of transmission and measures required to reduce and contain them.

Recent findings: Common causes of outbreaks include influenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, and coronaviruses. Major lethal outbreaks of viral respiratory infections in hospitals have been caused by coronaviruses imported from abroad by travelers.

Summary: Although viruses circulating in the local community are common causes of hospital outbreaks, major outbreaks have been caused by the coronaviruses imported from abroad by travelers. A high degree of clinical awareness and rapid enforcement of infection control measures are required to prevent transmission and spread.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control
  • Influenza, Human / transmission
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / transmission
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Virus Diseases / epidemiology
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Virus Diseases / transmission