Modeling nosocomial transmission of rotavirus in pediatric wards
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Nosocomial transmission of viral and bacterial infections is a major problem worldwide, affecting millions of patients (and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths) per year. Rotavirus infections affect most children worldwide at least once before age five. We present here deterministic and stochastic models for the transmission of rotavirus in a pediatric hospital ward and draw on published data to compare the efficacy of several possible control measures in reducing the number of infections during a 90-day outbreak, including cohorting, changes in healthcare worker-patient ratio, improving compliance with preventive hygiene measures, and vaccination. Although recently approved vaccines have potential to curtail most nosocomial rotavirus trans- mission in the future, even short-term improvement in preventive hygiene compliance following contact with symptomatic patients may significantly limit transmission as well, and remains an important control measure, especially where resources are limited.