Journal Article

Large Summertime Influenza A Outbreak among Tourists in Alaska and the Yukon Territory

Timothy M. Uyeki, Suzanne B. Zane, R. Bodnar Ulana, Katherine L. Fielding, Jane A. Buxton, Joy M. Miller, Michael Beller, Jay C. Butler, Keiji Fukuda, Susan A. Maloney and Martin S. Cetron

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 36, issue 9, pages 1095-1102
Published in print May 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/374053
Large Summertime Influenza A Outbreak among Tourists in Alaska and the Yukon Territory

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We investigated a large summertime outbreak of acute respiratory illness during May-September 1998 in Alaska and the Yukon Territory, Canada. Surveillance for acute respiratory illness (ARI), influenza-like illness (ILI), and pneumonia conducted at 31 hospital, clinic, and cruise ship infirmary sites identified 5361 cases of ARI (including 2864 cases of ILI [53%] and 171 cases of pneumonia [3.2%]) occurring primarily in tourists and tourism workers (from 18 and 37 countries, respectively). Influenza A viruses were isolated from 41 of 210 patients with ILI at 8 of 14 land sites and 8 of 17 cruise ship infirmaries. Twenty-two influenza isolates were antigenically characterized, and all were influenza A/Sydney/05/97-like (H3N2) viruses. No other predominant pathogens were identified. We estimated that >33,000 cases of ARI might have occurred during this protracted outbreak, which was attributed primarily to influenza A/Sydney/05/97-like (H3N2) viruses. Modern travel patterns may facilitate similar outbreaks, indicating the need for increased awareness about influenza by health care providers and travelers and the desirability of year-round influenza surveillance in some regions.

Journal Article.  4437 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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