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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1992 Jun;40(6):589-92.

An outbreak of influenza A (H3N2) in a well immunized nursing home population.

Author information

1
Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, New York State Department of Health, Albany 12237.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the epidemiologic features of an outbreak of influenza A that occurred in a skilled nursing home although over 90 percent of the resident population had previously received influenza vaccine.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Skilled nursing home facility in western New York State.

PATIENTS:

Nursing home residents and patient-care staff.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Incidence of influenza-like illness among vaccinated versus unvaccinated nursing home residents and staff.

RESULTS:

Thirty-seven of 124 residents (attack rate = 30%) and 18 of 146 staff (attack rate = 12%) had an influenza-like illness. Staff illness began 16 days prior to onset among residents. Six cases of pneumonia and three influenza-related deaths occurred, all among the vaccinated residents. Ninety percent of the nursing home residents and 10% of the staff received the influenza vaccine prior to the outbreak. The calculated vaccine efficacies were minus 21% and plus 45% for residents and staff, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

While antigenic drift of the circulating influenza virus was the major factor in the apparent vaccine failure, the observed poor staff immunization rate (10%) and absence of surveillance which precluded the use of amantadine chemoprophylaxis suggest that the use of these strategies may be of importance in controlling influenza outbreaks in nursing homes.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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