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Arch Intern Med. 1988 Apr;148(4):865-8.

The roles of vaccination and amantadine prophylaxis in controlling an outbreak of influenza A (H3N2) in a nursing home.

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  • 1Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


An outbreak caused by influenza A/Philippines/2/82 (H3N2)-like viruses occurred in a partially vaccinated nursing home population in January 1985. During the first six days of the outbreak, 14 (25%) of 55 residents developed influenzalike illness. The risk of illness was most strongly associated with undetectable levels of antibody against the epidemic strain, with unvaccinated case-patients having more severe illnesses and a higher rate of hospitalization than vaccinated case-patients (5/8 vs 0/6). During the period of amantadine hydrochloride prophylaxis (100 mg/d) from days 7 to 35, only two (5%) of the remaining 41 residents became ill, even though 11 (27%) had no detectable antibody. Serum amantadine levels obtained on day 35 ranged from 117 to 737 ng/mL (mean 309 ng/mL), similar to therapeutic levels documented in younger adults who have taken the standard regimen of 200 mg/d; there were few clinically significant side effects. These findings illustrate the benefits of influenza vaccination and support the use of amantadine hydrochloride at a dosage of 100 mg daily for outbreak control among elderly persons.

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