1887

Abstract

From March to May 2002, a parvovirus B19 (B19) outbreak was identified at a general hospital that serves as a teaching facility for the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Medical students attending the hospital presented with symptoms suggestive of B19 infection. Previous studies have suggested that apparent hospital-related B19 outbreaks may be a reflection of B19 infection in the community. A study was undertaken to assess whether exposure to the hospital was a risk factor for B19 infection and to determine to what extent medical students were infected during this outbreak. The incidence of B19 infection in medical students attending the teaching hospital during the outbreak ( = 211) was determined and compared to students not attending the hospital ( = 96). To assess if a community-wide outbreak had occurred, 80 blood donors were also evaluated for the presence of B19 antibodies. Acute B19 infection was identified in 40 of 119 (33.6 %) susceptible students attending the hospital and in 20 of 47 (42.6 %) susceptible students not attending the hospital. The frequency of acute infection among susceptible blood donors was lower (9.5 %) than in students, but higher than the rate expected during non-epidemic periods. Most infections (68.3 %) were asymptomatic. Symptoms reported by infected subjects were not specific for B19 infection. Only 11.7 % of subjects with acute infection fulfilled the clinical surveillance definition used to detect cases during the outbreak. In conclusion, hospital exposure was not associated to increased risk of B19 infection among medical students. Medical students may be at increased risk for acquiring and transmitting B19 infection during outbreaks.

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2004-02-01
2019-11-22
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