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Distribution of airborne influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus in an urgent care medical clinic.
Lindsley WG; Blachere FM; Davis KA; Pearce TA; Fisher MA; Khakoo R; Davis SM; Rogers ME; Thewlis RE; Posada JA; Redrow JB; Celik IB; Chen BT; Beezhold DH
Clin Infect Dis 2010 Mar; 50(5):693-698
Background. Considerable controversy exists with regard to whether influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are spread by the inhalation of infectious airborne particles and about the importance of this route, compared with droplet or contact transmission. Methods. Airborne particles were collected in an urgent care clinic with use of stationary and personal aerosol samplers. The amounts of airborne influenza A, influenza B, and RSV RNA were determined using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Health care workers and patients participating in the study were tested for influenza. Results. Seventeen percent of the stationary samplers contained influenza A RNA, 1% contained influenza B RNA, and 32% contained RSV RNA. Nineteen percent of the personal samplers contained influenza A RNA, none contained influenza B RNA, and 38% contained RSV RNA. The number of samplers containing influenza RNA correlated well with the number and location of patients with influenza (r = 0.77). Forty-two percent of the influenza A RNA was in particles <= 4.1 mu m in aerodynamic diameter, and 9% of the RSV RNA was in particles <= 4.1 mu m. Conclusions. Airborne particles containing influenza and RSV RNA were detected throughout a health care facility. The particles were small enough to remain airborne for an extended time and to be inhaled deeply into the respiratory tract. These results support the possibility that influenza and RSV can be transmitted by the airborne route and suggest that further investigation of the potential of these particles to transmit infection is warranted.
Airborne-dusts; Airborne-particles; Air-sampling; Biological-agents; Biological-effects; Biological-transport; Contagious-diseases; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Health-care-facilities; Health-hazards; Immune-system-disorders; Infectious-diseases; Quantitative-analysis; Respiratory-infections; Respiratory-system-disorders; Statistical-analysis; Viral-diseases; Viral-infections
William G. Lindsley, West Virginia University, NIOSH, CDC, HELD, 1095 Willowdale Rd,M-S 2015, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Clinical Infectious Diseases
West Virginia University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division