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South Eastern Sydney Public Health Unit is investigating an outbreak of acute respiratory illness among residents of a local nursing home.
Of the 70 residents, 35 were affected with fever, cough and lethargy with onset between 11 and 20 February 1999. Eight residents have been hospitalised with pneumonia. Throat swabs collected on 13 February were processed at SEALS Virology Laboratory and to date influenza A has been isolated from three of 14 specimens. Serological studies are also in hand. A small number of deaths have occurred.
A vaccination program for residents and staff has been conducted. The use of amantadine was being considered but decided against.
(Due to delayed publication it has been possible to provide this recent information.)
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 23, No 2, 18 February 1999.