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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1990 Jun;38(6):659-62.

An outbreak of an influenza-like illness in a nursing home.

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Grancell Village, Jewish Homes for the Aging, Reseda, California 91335-3798.


As part of an ongoing infection surveillance program, data were collected on an outbreak of respiratory illness affecting 29% of residents in a 231-bed long-term care facility. Viral titers could be collected on 60% of the ill residents and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was established in 14 of the symptomatic patients and was thought to be the probable cause of the outbreak. Compared with previously reported long-term institutional outbreaks of RSV, there were significantly fewer cases of pneumonia (5% vs. 14% to 55%) and deaths (2% vs. 6% to 20%). However, morbidity was substantial in this outbreak, with 46% of patients suffering prolonged malaise and anorexia; the mean duration of symptoms was four weeks. Respiratory syncytial virus may be an important cause of respiratory illness in nursing homes and may be unappreciated if specific diagnostic methods are not employed. The recent availability of rapid diagnostic tests and specific antiviral therapy for RSV warrant further clinical studies to develop management strategies for this infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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