National institute of Preventive Medicine
1985 Vol.1 NO.2
On November 28, 1984, the Bureau of Medical Affairs received a report of n outbreak of diarrhea among infants in the newborn and premature nurseries of a Taipei hospital. During the period October 27-December 7, 1984, a total of 109 infants with stool cultures positive for Salmonella were identified by the hospitals microbiology laboratory (Figure 1). Cases fit t occurred in the newborn nursery on the 5th floor and spread to the premature nursery on the 9th floor after infected infants were transferred lot isolation. The attack rates for the newborn and premature nurseries were 90/1207 (7.5%) and 19/34 (59%) respectively Eighty eight percent of cases had diarrhea and 20% had fever. Four cases developed bacteremia. All cases responded to antibiotic and supportive therapy; there were no deaths. A case control study showed that prematurity (p<0.05) and increased length of hsopitalization (p<0.05) were significant risk factors for infection. A stool culture survey of 288 hospital personnel identified 2 nursing students working in the premature nursery, who were positive for the epidemic strain of Salmonella. Two of four mothers of the first cans were cultured and found to be negative. The other two mothers could not be located for culture Isolates from three cases were lint to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for confirmation and were identified as Salmonella cerro. Despite multiple attempts to control the outbreak by the hospital, new cases continued to occur until infected infants and their cohort contacts were physically separated from new admission to the nurseries.