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Influenza Update -- United States

Since November 30, 1982, increasing influenza activity has been reported, including two nursing home outbreaks in upstate New York--one November 30-December 16 and one beginning December 18. In a Monroe County nursing home, about 63 (26%) of 240 residents experienced influenza-like illness, and six of 12 respiratory specimens collected grew influenza A(H3N2) virus. Preliminary laboratory results from the second outbreak also suggest an association with influenza virus; morbidity data are pending. Overall influenza-like illness in the region is not unusually elevated. In Idaho and Montana, however, several reports indicate increased influenza activity since December 20. In one small community, for example, school absenteeism (about 20%) caused premature closing before the winter vacation, and in several areas of the state physicians reported increased office visits, emergency room visits, or hospital admissions from influenza-like illness. An outbreak of influenza-like illness in an Idaho nursing home has also been reported. Although laboratory diagnosis is pending in Idaho, eight influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been isolated in Montana, including several from children with acute respiratory illness. In Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, and Utah, sporadic cases of influenza have been confirmed by isolation of type A(H3N2) strains. Reported by R. Betts, PhD, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York; L Minnich, MSc, G Ray, MD, University of Arizona Medical School; State Laboratory Directors and State Epidemiologists; Field Svcs Div, Epidemiology Program Office, WHO Collaborating Center for Influenza, Influenza Br, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

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