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Update, Influenza Activity -- United States and Canada

United States: New York: On November 16, 1982, the New York State Health Department was informed that an outbreak of febrile respiratory illness was developing among the 390 residents enrolled at a job corp training center located in Sullivan County, New York. On November 18, an epidemiologist from the New York State Health Department visited the center and interviewed the residents who reported having a febrile respiratory illness in November. Only one resident was ill before November 13, but 24 more cases were reported through November 18. The residents and several staff members described having an acute illness with myalgia and cough, usually accompanied by fever ( greater than or equal to 38.9 C (102 F)) and sore throat. Specimens were collected from six residents who were ill at the time of the investigation, and influenza type A(H3N2) virus was later isolated from two of the six specimens.

Ten residents had onset of influenza on November 18 when the outbreak abruptly terminated as the residents were dispersed to their homes for a Thanksgiving holiday vacation. When they returned after vacation, no unusual prevalence of respiratory illness was observed. This episode represents the first documented outbreak of influenza in the 48 continental states this season.

Texas: The first reported influenza virus isolates have been identified from specimens collected on November 22 and 30 from children in Houston with sporadic influenza illness. This report brings the number of states reporting influenza virus isolates of type A(H3N2) virus, to 8: Alaska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Canada: Several isolates of influenza type A(H3N2) virus have been reported by Canadian health officials from specimens collected from persons ranging in age from 10 to 64. Six of the isolates were from British Columbia, three from Alberta, and two from Saskatchewan. Influenza activity was described at low levels throughout British Columbia and as sporadic in two locations in Alberta and around the area of Regina, Saskatchewan. Reported by R Deibel, MD, R Rothenberg, MD, State Epidemiologist, New York State Dept of Health; P Glezen, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, C Webb, Jr, MD, State Epidemiologist, Texas State Dept of Health; Bureau of Epidemiology, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Ottawa, Ontario; WHO Collaborating Center for Influenza, Influenza Br, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

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