influenza%20(pediatric)
INFLUENZA (PEDIATRIC)
Influenza may present as a mild respiratory illness similar to the common cold or it may present without characteristic signs and symptoms.
The main type of influenza virus are types A, B & C virus. Types A&B are the main causes of influenza outbreaks.
Patient may appear flushed and have pain on eye movement. Non-exudative pharyngitis, scattered rales or rhonchi may be present.

Diagnosis

  • Influenza may present as a mild respiratory illness similar to the common cold or it may present without characteristic signs & symptoms
  • Diagnosis based on the above symptoms may be difficult because other pathogens cause similar symptoms
    • Identification is made easier when it is known that the influenza virus is present in the community

Physical Examination

  • Patient may appear flushed & have pain on eye movement
  • Non-exudative pharyngitis, scattered rales or rhonchi may be present

Laboratory Tests

  • May be appropriate to confirm diagnosis
  • Sensitivity of any test will depend on the laboratory that performs the test, the type of specimen used & the type of test used

Rapid Viral Tests

  • Office-based tests which detect influenza A & B viruses can diagnose influenza A & B in 10-20 minutes
  • Lack of sensitivity of these tests limit their use to the influenza season within a community
    • If result is negative, viral culture may be warranted to confirm diagnosis

Viral Culture

  • Most accurate but impractical since antiviral therapy needs to be instated within 48 hours of symptoms
  • Takes 2-10 days for results of viral culture & it can be costly
  • Valuable for monitoring antiviral resistance, identifying strains that may possibly cause pandemics & formulating vaccine for the following year

Complications

  • Pneumonia is the most common complication of influenza virus
    • Influenza may be followed by viral pneumonia & secondary bacterial pneumonia
  • Other complications: Otitis media, tracheobronchitis, acute sinusitis, etc
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