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.
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VAN VORIS LP, BELSHE RB, SHAFFER JL. 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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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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