|Abstract||Influenza causes substantial morbidity and mortality among nursing home residents. In September 2003, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidelines for the use of neuraminidase inhibitors for flu prophylaxis. These state that oseltamivir should be given to all residents in nursing and residential homes each time a single case of influenza-like illness (ILI) is|
recognised in a resident or staff member and when flu is known to be circulating in the community. Oseltamivir is effective for flu prophylaxis in young healthy people, but there is little evidence of its effectiveness in elderly nursing home residents. Estimates of its cost effectiveness vary widely. Last winter, from 3 November 2003 to 25 January 2004, we conducted surveillance for ILI in a chain of nursing homes across England. The data allow an analysis of the implications of implementing the NICE guidelines.