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Title: Influenza B Outbreak among influenza-vaccinated welfare home residents in Singapore
Authors: Win, M.K.
Chow, A.
Chen, M. 
Lau, Y.F.
Ooi, E.E.
Leo, Y.S.
Keywords: Antigenic drift
Long-term care facilities
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Citation: Win, M.K.,Chow, A.,Chen, M.,Lau, Y.F.,Ooi, E.E.,Leo, Y.S. (2010-06). Influenza B Outbreak among influenza-vaccinated welfare home residents in Singapore. Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore 39 (6) : 448-452. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Introduction: Outbreaks of acute respiratory illness occur commonly in long-term care facilities (LTCF), due to the close proximity of residents. Most influenza outbreak reports have been from temperate countries. This study reports an outbreak of infl uenza B among a highly immunised resident population in a welfare home in tropical Singapore, and discusses vaccine effi cacy and the role of acute respiratory illness surveillance for outbreak prevention and control. Materials and Methods: During the period from 16 to 21 March 2007, outbreak investigations and active case fi nding were carried out among residents and nursing staff at the welfare home. Interviews and medical notes review were conducted to obtain epidemiological and clinical data. Hospitalised patients were tested for respiratory pathogens. Further genetic studies were also carried out on positive respiratory samples. Results: The overall clinical attack rate was 9.4% (17/180) in residents and 6.7% (2/30) in staff. All infected residents and staff had received infl uenza immunisation. Fifteen residents were hospitalised, with 2 developing severe complications. Genetic sequencing revealed that the outbreak strain had an 8.2% amino acid difference from B/Malaysia/2506/2004, the 2006 southern hemisphere infl uenza vaccine strain, which the residents and staff had earlier received. Conclusions: A mismatch between the vaccine and circulating infl uenza virus strains can result in an outbreak in a highly immunised LTCF resident population. Active surveillance for acute respiratory illness in LTCFs could be implemented for rapid detection of antigenic drift. Enhanced infection control and other preventive measures can then be deployed in a timely manner to mitigate the effect of any outbreaks.
Source Title: Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
ISSN: 03044602
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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