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Aerosol-Transmitted Infections—a New Consideration for Public Health and Infection Control Teams

Since the emergence of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the 2003 reemergence of avian A/H5N1, the emergence of the 2009 pandemic influenza A/H1N1, the 2012 emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), the 2013 emergence of avian A/H7N9 and the 2014 Ebola virus outbreaks, the potential for the aerosol transmission of infectious agents is now routinely considered in the investigation of any outbreak. Although many organisms have traditionally been considered to be transmitted by only one route (e.g. direct/indirect contact and/or faecal-orally), it is now apparent that the aerosol transmission route is also possible and opportunistic, depending on any potentially aerosol-generating procedures, the severity of illness and the degree and duration of pathogen-shedding in the infected patient, as well as the environment in which these activities are conducted.This article reviews the evidence and characteristics of some of the accepted (tuberculosis, measles, chickenpox, whooping cough) and some of the more opportunistic (influenza, Clostridium difficile, norovirus) aerosol-transmitted infectious agents and outlines methods of detecting and quantifying transmission.
Curr Treat Options Infect Dis. DOI 10.1007/s40506-015-0057-1
Current Treatment Options in Infectious Diseases - September 2015, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 176–201

Author: Julian W. Tang, Peter Wilson, Nandini Shetty, Catherine J. Noakes

Published: 01/09/2015

Publication Type: Journal article