Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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We describe an outbreak of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) which occurred in July-September 2010 at a community hospital in the East of England. Based on the medical and nursing records, cases were retrospectively defined as suspected if they had had an influenza-like illness (ILI), and probable if they had had an ILI and an epidemiological link to a laboratory-confirmed case. Of a total of 17 symptomatic inpatients, five were classified as probable cases, five were laboratory confirmed and seven were suspected. The attack rate was 29.4% for confirmed and probable cases combined. The median age of symptomatic inpatients was 85 years-old (range 68-96) and the majority (16/17) of symptomatic inpatients had an underlying medical condition. Control measures introduced appeared to restrict further exposure of susceptible patients to infection although modelling suggested that up to four of 10 confirmed and probable cases (40%) could have been prevented through more timely diagnosis and recognition of an outbreak. These findings suggest that there should be increased awareness of hMPV infection within healthcare settings, particularly when the population at risk has a high prevalence of underlying co-morbidities.


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