Prophylactic antiviral may contain flu in nursing homes

Treatment and prophylaxis with 75mg oseltamivir (Tamiflu, Roche) for all residents and staff achieved lower rates of infection compared to treatment alone (23% vs 36%) and more than halved the duration of outbreaks during a three-year trial in 16 Sydney nursing homes, although reduced death and hospitalisation rates were not significant.

Twenty-three respiratory illness outbreaks were detected during the study period, of which only nine were shown to be influenza.

Professor Robert Booy, head of clinical