The clinical spectrum of influenza ranges from asymptomatic infection to primary viral pneumonia that may progress to death.
Patients presenting with influenza-like illness (ie temperature of 37.8ºC, cough and/or sore throat and absence of a known cause other than influenza) might be infected with different types of influenza virus [eg avian influenza (H5N1)] as well as other respiratory pathogens.
A high index of suspicion is needed to recognize influenza in hospitalized patients.
Pneumonia is the most common complication of influenza virus.
Doubling the frequency of influenza vaccination from annually to twice a year can increase strain-specific antibody titres and was associated with a reduced incidence of symptomatic respiratory illness, according to the TROPICS1* study.
Single doses of the small-molecule prodrug baloxavir marboxil (hereafter baloxavir) was effective in alleviating influenza symptoms and superior to oseltamivir in reducing infectious viral load within 1 day after initiating treatment in people with uncomplicated influenza, results of two randomized trials show.
Patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with severe influenza have an elevated risk of developing invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, particularly if they are immunocompromised at time of admission, a recent study has shown.
Respiratory infections, particularly influenza, may increase the risk of treatment failure in children with asthma who present to emergency departments (EDs) with exacerbations, a secondary analysis of the DOORWAY* study revealed.
A large number of patients who present at outpatient clinics with symptoms of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) during influenza seasons are prescribed antibiotics despite not needing them, a finding that highlights the overuse of antibiotics in ARIs, a recent study showed.
Respiratory infections potentially play a role in precipitating acute myocardial infarction (AMI), with a recent study showing that the incidence of admissions for AMI is high during the week following laboratory confirmation of influenza infection.