antiviral, infection, NICU, viral



  1. Barford, Galina MSN, CNNP, RN
  2. Rentz, Alison C. MD
  3. Faix, Roger G. MD


Viral diseases are leading causes of mortality and morbidity among infants requiring care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), with ongoing discoveries of new viral pathology likely to add to the burdens posed. Many viral diseases in NICU infants are undiagnosed or appreciated only late in the course because of subtle or asymptomatic presentation, confusion with bacterial disease, and failure to consider viral disease. We present an overview of viral disease in NICU infants, with emphasis on pharmacologic agents currently employed for prophylaxis and treatment of such diseases. Advances in molecular biology and popular demand to develop antiviral agents for viral diseases (eg, human immunodeficiency virus) offer great promise for the future.