Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Healthcare-Associated Viral Infections in Children.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2021 Jul 27

ISSN Number



<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Healthcare-associated viral infections (HA-VIs) are common in hospitalized children and are increasingly recognized as a cause of preventable harm; however, the epidemiology and modifiable risk factors for pediatric HA-VIs are poorly understood.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We performed a retrospective case-control study to identify risk factors and outcomes associated with pediatric HA-VIs at a quaternary care children's hospital. HA-VI surveillance was performed hospital-wide using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions. We abstracted data from the electronic medical record and conducted semi-structured interviews with patient caregivers to identify potential exposures 4 days before the HA-VI onset.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>During the 20-month study period, we identified 143 eligible patients with HA-VIs and enrolled 64 matched case-control pairs. In total, 79 viruses were identified among 64 case patients. During the exposure period, case, as compared with control, patients were more frequently exposed to a sick visitor (odds ratio = 5.19; P = .05). During the 7 days after the HA-VI onset, case, as compared with control, patients had a greater length of antibacterial therapy per patient-days (mean 411 vs 159) as well as greater days of antibacterial therapy per patient-days (mean 665 vs 247).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>The results of this study show that exposure to a sick visitor is a potentially modifiable risk factor for pediatric HA-VIs. Hospitalized children with HA-VIs also have increased exposure to antibacterial agents when compared with matched controls. Our findings suggest that hospital policies may need to be revised, with emphasis on visitor screening and partnership with families, to reduce the incidence of pediatric HA-VIs during hospitalization.</p>



Alternate Title

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc




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