Control of the spread of viruses in a long-term care facility using hygiene protocols

Hannah P. Sassi, Laura Y. Sifuentes, David W. Koenig, Emmalee Nichols, Jocelyn Clark-Greuel, Lung Fai Wong, Kevin McGrath, Charles P. Gerba, Kelly A. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background Approximately 50% of norovirus cases in the United States occur in long-term care facilities; many incidences of rotavirus, sapovirus, and adenovirus also occur. The primary objectives of this study were to demonstrate movement of pathogenic viruses through a long-term care facility and to determine the impact of a hygiene intervention on viral transmission. Methods The coliphage MS-2 was seeded onto a staff member's hands, and samples were collected after 4 hours from fomites and hands. After 3 consecutive days of sample collection, a 14-day hygiene intervention was implemented. Hand sanitizers, hand and face wipes, antiviral tissues, and a disinfectant spray were distributed to employees and residents. Seeding and sampling were repeated postintervention. Results Analysis of the pre- and postintervention data was performed using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Significant reductions in the spread of MS-2 on hands (P =.0002) and fomites (P =.04) were observed postintervention, with a >99% average reduction of virus recovered from both hands and fomites. Conclusion Although MS-2 spread readily from hands to fomites and vice versa, the intervention reduced average MS-2 concentrations recovered from hands and fomites by up to 4 logs and also reduced the incidence of MS-2 recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-706
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Hygiene protocol
  • Long-term care
  • Virus spread

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Control of the spread of viruses in a long-term care facility using hygiene protocols'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this