Influenza is an acute respiratory illness responsible for significant seasonal epidemics each year. Despite commonly being a self-limited illness, the virus causes significant morbidity and mortality. During the winter months, emergency physicians should maintain a high suspicion for influenza in patients presenting with an acute febrile respiratory illness.
Infectious illness is common in travelers from other countries visiting the United States. Skin and soft tissue infections, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal illness are most likely, but specific geographic illnesses such as Lyme disease also occur.
As influenza season approaches, it is important that clinicians prepare themselves with the current literature on clinical presentation, best and most rapid diagnostic testing, and treatment strategies in pediatric patients. The literature shows that antiviral agents are underutilized in children, a critical issue for this vulnerable population. The authors provide insight and evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic practice for the upcoming influenza season.
In a case-control study, among older adults, repeated vaccination for influenza was twice as effective in preventing severe influenza compared to non-severe influenza in patients who were admitted to the hospital.