Objective Respiratory syncytial virus (RVS) and rotavirus infections are a major public health problem and represent approximately a third of cross infections in paediatric units. This study was conducted to observe their evolution and distribution in a French university hospital.
Methods This retrospective study included children under 15 years with a new rotavirus or RSV infection who were hospitalised at the Dijon University Hospital between 1998 and 2005. The general trend was determined by using moving averages; furthermore, the Spearman correlation coefficient rs was calculated.
Results From 1998 to 2005, 1886 new RSV (n = 981) or rotavirus (n = 905) infections were identified. The total number of RSV (rs = −0.51; p<0.0001) and rotavirus (rs = −0.72; p<0.0001) infections in relation to the number of hospital stays decreased significantly between 1998 and 2005. Almost half of rotavirus infections were nosocomial (46.3%) versus 5.3% of RSV infections, p<0.0001. There was no significant difference in the proportion of RSV nosocomial infections between the epidemic and non-epidemic period (4.9% of nosocomial infections vs 7.1%, respectively, p = 0.25). Rotavirus nosocomial infections were less frequent in the epidemic period (41.6%) than in the non-epidemic period (54.6%) p = 0.0002.
Conclusions Cross infections were more frequent for rotavirus. The proportion of RSV or rotavirus infections did not increase in the epidemic period, which could be explained both by an increased attention from healthcare professionals and by the effectiveness of hygiene measures taken.