Influenza-like symptoms in the college dormitory environment: a survey taken during the 1999-2000 influenza season.

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* The incidence of influenza has been reported to be higher among dormitory residents than among students in non-dormitory settings.

* During the 1999-2000 flu season, University of Chicago dormitory residents were surveyed about their living conditions and influenza-like symptoms (ILS).

* No evidence was found that ILS risk was affected by washroom, laundry, or dining settings, or by demographics, including gender or year in college.

* Strong relations were detected between ILS and the dormitory room environment.

* Although the risk of ILS increased for roommates who shared sleeping quarters compared with those who slept in different rooms, the difference was not statistically significant.

* Students who had [greater than or equal to]50 percent carpeting in their room were at significantly lower risk for ILS.

* The reason for the association of carpeting and a lower ILS risk is not readily clear.

* A possible explanation may come from a...

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