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The dispersal of staphylococci in hospital wards
  1. W. C. Noble1
  1. Air Hygiene Laboratory, Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale, London


    The air of three hospital wards was examined frequently for staphylococci for a period of nearly four years using slit samplers. `Broadcasts' of staphylococci into the air were observed with the air count rising well above the mean of 0·2 staphylococcal particle per cubic foot and these broadcasts often appeared to be due to single patients.

    Eight of the 3,675 patients admitted to the wards possessed an ability to disperse staphylococci into the air of the wards which was markedly greater than normal.

    The actual dispersal about the ward appeared to be mediated by the bedclothes, for, when these were disturbed, large numbers of staphylococci were disseminated into the air.

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    • 1 Present address: The Wright-Fleming Institute of Microbiology, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Paddington, London, W.2.