Disinfecting pediatric long-term care facilities with ultraviolet-C can reduce the incidence of respiratory illnesses caused by viral pathogens by 44% when compared with traditional disinfection methods.

“Ultraviolet-C disinfection devices have been shown to be associated with a reduction in hospital-acquired infection caused by bacteria, as well as bacterial pathogen load on surfaces, but these devices have not been thoroughly examined for effectiveness in reducing viral infections,” Marianne Pavia, MS, BS, CIC, FAPIC, from St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, and colleagues wrote.

“Pediatric patients in particular are at risk for respiratory illnesses caused by viruses such as influenza, rhinovirus, enterovirus and human metapneumovirus,” the researchers continued. “These viral infections are especially problematic for patients with already weakened immune systems due to existing illness.”