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Infection control management of patients with suspected highly infectious diseases in emergency departments: data from a survey in 41 facilities in 14 European countries

Francesco M Fusco1*, Stefan Schilling2, Giuseppina De Iaco1, Hans-Reinhard Brodt2, Philippe Brouqui3, Helena C Maltezou4, Barbara Bannister5, René Gottschalk6, Gail Thomson7, Vincenzo Puro1, Giuseppe Ippolito1 and EuroNHID Working Group

Author Affiliations

1 National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L Spallanzani", Rome, Italy

2 J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

3 IHU POLMIT CHU Nord AP-HM, Marseille, France

4 Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Athens, Greece

5 Royal Free Hospital, London, UK

6 Health Protection Authority, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

7 Health Protection Agency, Porton Down, Salisbury, UK

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:27  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-27

Published: 28 January 2012



In Emergency and Medical Admission Departments (EDs and MADs), prompt recognition and appropriate infection control management of patients with Highly Infectious Diseases (HIDs, e.g. Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and SARS) are fundamental for avoiding nosocomial outbreaks.


The EuroNHID (European Network for Highly Infectious Diseases) project collected data from 41 EDs and MADs in 14 European countries, located in the same facility as a national/regional referral centre for HIDs, using specifically developed checklists, during on-site visits from February to November 2009.


Isolation rooms were available in 34 facilities (82,9%): these rooms had anteroom in 19, dedicated entrance in 15, negative pressure in 17, and HEPA filtration of exhausting air in 12. Only 6 centres (14,6%) had isolation rooms with all characteristics. Personnel trained for the recognition of HIDs was available in 24 facilities; management protocols for HIDs were available in 35.


Preparedness level for the safe and appropriate management of HIDs is partially adequate in the surveyed EDs and MADs.