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Am J Public Health. 1986 May;76(5):501-4.

An outbreak of influenza A in a nursing home.


An outbreak of influenza A occurred in an elderly population in a Maryland nursing home between December 8, 1980 and January 13, 1981 and involved 76 of the 170 residents. Throat swabs from two of 10 acutely ill residents yielded influenza A virus similar to the A/Taiwan/1/79 strain. Fourfold or greater increases in the titer of complement-fixing (CF) or hemagglutination-inhibiting (HI) antibodies were detected in paired sera from four of five ill residents and from none of four well residents. One hundred (62.9 per cent) of 159 residents with known vaccination histories had been vaccinated with trivalent influenza virus vaccine in October and November 1980. Crude illness attack rates and mortality rates were similar in vaccinees and nonvaccinees. Various risk factors and hypotheses were examined in an attempt to explain the apparent lack of vaccine efficacy.

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