Respiratory viral infections can cause serious illnesses in patients with weakened immune systems, such as those who have undergone a bone marrow transplant, or are undergoing chemotherapy for blood cancers.
The Haematology department at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) routinely tests for these viruses if patients are admitted with symptoms suggestive of infection like breathlessness or cough. The test is done by looking for genetic material from the viruses in a nose or throat swab with a test called a PCR test. OUH uses a PCR test that can detect multiple viruses at once, called the BioFire. Results are stored in the electronic healthcare records of each patient.
We propose to analyse the results of the past 5 years of haematology patients who were admitted to hospital, to see how seasonal trends influence infections, and how social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic has affected this.