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Air-borne Spread Pathway in Intensive Care Unit(ICU) of Specialized SARS Hospital

XU Qian,FAN Qin-ying,DUAN Ning,WANG Wei,CHEN Jian-hua(China-Japan Friendship Hospital,Beijing 100029,China)  
OBJECTIVE The transmission route of severe acute respiratory syndrome(SARS) hasn't been known and proved completely.The authors studied the patients in SARS ICU and the surrounding air in order to provide help and support for understanding the spread pathway of SARS. METHODS Air-sampling from 5 wards and condensate sampling on filter net of air conditioner in SARS ICU with Nippon-made Anderson air-sampler were done twice,then examined by RT-PCR and virus isolating and culturing method. RESULTS SARS virus was found from air samples of wards in SARS ICU;the virus existed not only on big biological granules,but on lesser ones and on filter net of air conditioner outside of the wards,indicating that the SARS virus existed in air at a certain. CONCLUSIONS There exists SARS virus in the air of SARS ICU wards and sectors areas,therefore,the keys to preventing SARS from spreading are to strengthen the ventilation in sectors,the personal protection of respiratory tract and mucous membrane among medical staff in ICU.
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