LEE P. VAN VORIS, M.D.; ROBERT B. BELSHE, M.D.; JERRI L. SHAFFER, B.S., R.N.
A hospital-acquired outbreak of influenza-like illness that involved 29 patients during 4 weeks was detected in March 1980. The average age of the patients was 63 years. Eighteen of the 29 patients with symptoms had influenza B virus infection documented by virus isolation, fourfold or greater hemagglutination inhibition antibody increases, or both. The attack rate among all hospitalized inpatients was 20%. Absenteeism of the hospital staff because of influenza-like illnesses preceded the outbreak by several weeks, suggesting staff-to-patient transmission. The patients' sera during acute illness had low hemagglutination inhibition antibody titers (geometric mean titer of 1:21) against contemporary influenza B virus antigens, indicating that the patients were highly susceptible to influenza B virus. Only one patient had received trivalent influenza vaccine during the preceding year. The excess hospital cost resulting from the outbreak was $13 270 or $458 per patient. Our observations show that the elderly are at risk of developing nosocomial influenza B virus infection and that these illnesses are costly. Continued efforts to develop efficient influenza immunization programs for elderly persons and hospital staff are worthwhile.
LEE P. VAN VORIS, ROBERT B. BELSHE, JERRI L. SHAFFER. Nosocomial Influenza B Virus Infection in the Elderly. Ann Intern Med. 1982;96:153–158. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-96-2-153
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(2):153-158.
Infectious Disease, Influenza.
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