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March 12, 1982

Impact of Influenza A in a Nursing Home

JAMA. 1982;247(10):1451-1453. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320350055031

Outbreaks of influenza A in the institutionalized elderly have been reported only rarely. Such an outbreak occurred in a nursing home in the period Dec 12, 1980, through Jan 21, 1981. Thirty (25%) of the 120 residents had onset of influenza-like illness during the outbreak. Influenza A/ Bangkok/79-like (H3N2) virus was isolated from throat swab specimens from five of eight acutely ill patients. Thirteen persons were hospitalized; nine persons died (case-fatality ratio, 30%). This outbreak documents that mortality associated with an influenza outbreak can be substantial in a closed population of the elderly. Because nursing home residents are an easily accessible high-risk population, control and prevention of influenza should be a high priority in nursing homes.

(JAMA 1982;247:1451-1453)