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Prevention of Nosocomial Influenza

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Karim A. Adal
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Richard H. Flowers
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Anne M. Anglim
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Frederick G. Hayden
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Maureen G. Titus
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Betty J. Coyner
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Barry M. Farr*
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Box 473, Charlottesville, VA 22908



To study compliance with preventive strategies at a university hospital during an outbreak of nosocomial influenza A during the winter of 1988, and the rates of vaccination of healthcare workers and of nosocomial influenza following changes in vaccine practices after the outbreak.


Retrospective review of employee health, hospital epidemiology, hospital computing, and clinical microbiology records.


A university hospital.


Unvaccinated personnel with exposure within the previous 72 hours to an unisolated case of influenza were offered influenza vaccine and 14 days of amantadine hydrochloride prophylaxis. Personnel with exposure more than 72 hours before evaluation were offered vaccine. A mobile cart was introduced for vaccinating personnel after the 1988 outbreak.


An outbreak of influenza with 10 nosocomial cases occurred in 1988. Only 4% of exposed employees had been vaccinated previously and 23% of exposed, unvaccinated employees agreed to take vaccine, amantadine, or both. A mobile-cart vaccination program was instituted, and annual vaccination rates steadily increased from 26.3% in 1989 to 1990 to 38% in 1993 to 1994 (P<.0001). The relative frequency of documented cases of influenza in employees with symptoms of influenza decreased significantly during this period (P=.025), but nosocomial influenza rates among patients did not change significantly.


A mobile-cart influenza vaccination program was associated with a significant increase in compliance among healthcare workers, but a majority still remained unvaccinated. The rate of nosocomial influenza among patients was not reduced by the modest increase in the vaccination rate, but influenza rates remained acceptably low, perhaps due to respiratory isolation of patients and furlough of employees with influenza.

Original Articles
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 1996 

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