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Preventing RSV infection and spread in healthcare facilities

Large virus can live on hard surfaces for hours, says UCI Health infectious disease expert

April 10, 2024

IN THE NEWS: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a respiratory infection that has the potential to spread throughout healthcare facilities and infect some of the most vulnerable hospitalized patients.

medscape logo teal m and medscape in teal and black lettersUCI Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Hannah H. Nam spoke to Medcape’s InDiscussion podcast about strategies to prevent the spread of RSV in healthcare facilities and minimize transmission among healthcare workers and patients during an outbreak. The virus differs from COVID-19 and influenza, she says, and it requires a different approach.

"RSV is … about double the size of flu and COVID. …Because it's such a large droplet, it tends to fall and sit on surfaces, and it can live on hard surfaces such as doorknobs for many hours. The primary mode of transmission for RSV tends to be contact."

Nam is a physician with UCI Health Infectious Disease Services and an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the UCI School of Medicine. She has authored or co-authored several studies and a textbook chapter. Her research interests include antibiotic drug resistance, RSV infections, respiratory tract infections and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

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