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Am J Epidemiol. 1989 Feb;129(2):341-8.

An outbreak of influenza A/Taiwan/1/86 (H1N1) infections at a naval base and its association with airplane travel.

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Division of Field Services, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.


In late October 1986, an outbreak of influenza-like illness was detected at the Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida. Between October 10 and November 7, 1986, 60 active duty personnel reported experiencing a respiratory illness characterized by fever, cough, sore throat, and myalgia. Influenza A/Taiwan/1/86 (H1N1) virus was recovered from three symptomatic patients. Forty-one (68%) of 60 case-patients belonged to a 114-person squadron that had traveled to Puerto Rico for a temporary assignment from October 17-28, 1986. Among squadron members, the attack rate for persons previously vaccinated with the 1986-1987 trivalent influenza vaccine and for those unvaccinated was the same (37%). Transmission of infection among squadron personnel appeared to have commenced in Key West and continued in a barracks in Puerto Rico and aboard two DC-9 aircraft that transported the squadron back to Key West on October 28. There was no evidence that the outbreak spread to the surrounding civilian communities in Puerto Rico or Key West. This was the first reported outbreak of respiratory illness due to influenza A/Taiwan/1/86 (H1N1) in the continental United States in the 1986-1987 influenza season.

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