Hong Kong Med J 2009;15(Suppl 6):S35-8
Influenza-like illness in residential care homes: a study of the incidence, aetiological agents, natural history, and health resource utilisation
J Woo, E Hui, PKS Chan, M Ip, DS Hui
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1. Assuming vaccine reduces influenza A infection, it is likely that only a small proportion of influenza-like illness (ILI) can be avoided. Pneumococcal and other viral vaccines should be considered.
2. Influenza-like illness does not equate with influenza. Nursing home–acquired pneumonia might be a better term, and less misleading.
3. Patients with ILI should not automatically be regarded as infectious and quarantined, as many are secondary to Gram-negative infections.
4. Hospital admissions owing to ILI are unlikely to be prevented by outreach health services, surveillance, or influenza vaccination, because frail elderly people with infection have a deteriorating general condition and need oxygen, intravenous drugs, and support from various health professionals. Policies requiring report of death to the police and infection control requirements also encourage hospital admission.