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Grant Programs

Early Identification and Management of Viral Infections in Hospitalized Neonates and Infants

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

Viruses can cause a cold, the flu, and pneumonia in infants and children. When a child develops symptoms such as a fever, runny nose, or cough, doctors become suspicious of a viral infection and can test for certain viruses. Some infants with viral infections do not have these common symptoms, however. New diagnostic tests are improving our ability to detect known and novel viruses. Using a new rapid test, this program will enable screening of children with symptoms such as fever and cough, as well as children without these common symptoms.

John Hopkins University found that 18% of babies/children admitted to the hospital were infected with a respiratory virus. Of these infected children, 17% were admitted for reasons other than flu-like illnesses and 8% had no symptoms. It is well known that infections can be life-threatening in babies. Delayed diagnosis of a viral infection in these babies can put other babies/children at risk of infection. The researchers are now determining if newer tests will better identify infected children who do not have symptoms and what the implications for hospitalized children are so all children receive the best care possible. 

The main objectives and Year 2 goals are: (1) to determine if a new rapid test will improve our ability to diagnose children with contagious viruses, (2) to identify uncommon symptoms of viral infection in neonates and infants, (3) to determine whether a new rapid diagnostic test will prevent the spread of contagious viruses between hospitalized children and improve the delivery of supportive care. 


Published Findings
& Other Documents

Detection of Respiratory Viruses in Nasal Aspirates of Infants Hospitalized for Reasons other than Influenza-Like Illness: Implications for Prevention of Nosocomial Viral Transmission
[0k/] posted: July 03, 2009

Epidemiology of Respiratory Viruses in Children Admitted to Infant-Toddler Unit
[0k/] posted: September 22, 2011


George J. Dover, MD Full profile »
Johns Hopkins Hospital Johns Hopkins University School
Office: 410-955-5976

Aaron M. Milstone, MD Full profile »
The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Office: 410-614-3917