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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014 Feb;35(2):169-75. doi: 10.1086/674858. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

Healthcare-associated influenza in Canadian hospitals from 2006 to 2012.

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University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



To determine trends, patient characteristics, and outcome of patients with healthcare-associated influenza in Canadian hospitals.


Prospective surveillance of laboratory-confirmed influenza among hospitalized adults was conducted from 2006 to 2012. Adults with positive test results at or after admission to the hospital were assessed. Influenza was considered to be healthcare associated if symptom onset was equal to or more than 96 hours after admission to a facility or if a patient was readmitted less than 96 hours after discharge or admitted less than 96 hours after transfer from another facility. Baseline characteristics of influenza patients were collected. Patients were reassessed at 30 days to determine the outcome.


Acute care hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program.


A total of 570 (17.3%) of 3,299 influenza cases were healthcare associated; 345 (60.5%) were acquired in a long-term care facility (LTCF), and 225 (39.5%) were acquired in an acute care facility (ACF). There was year-to-year variability in the rate and proportion of cases that were healthcare associated and variability in the proportion that were acquired in a LTCF versus an ACF. Patients with LTCF-associated cases were older, had a higher proportion of chronic heart disease, and were less likely to be immunocompromised compared with patients with ACF-associated cases; there was no significant difference in 30-day all-cause and influenza-specific mortality.


Healthcare-associated influenza is a major component of the burden of disease from influenza in hospitals, but the proportion of cases that are healthcare associated varies markedly from year to year, as does the proportion of healthcare-associated infections that are acquired in an ACF versus an LTCF.

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