Testing and Treatment

  • Differentiating influenza from other viral respiratory illnesses is difficult clinically, since the symptoms of influenza are not highly specific.

  • As a result, routine diagnoses of influenza on a clinical basis will likely lead to over diagnosis and treatment of many children who have non-influenza viral respiratory illness

Anti-viral treatments have a marginal effect on shortening the duration of influenza illness symptoms in children (by about 29 hours on average)

  • Side effects of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are not common and are usually not severe.

  • The most common side effect is vomiting, which occurs in about 5% of patients

  • The possible effect of antiviral medications in preventing influenza-related complications is supported by observational study data (mostly in adults)

  • This remains controversial since RCT data is not yet available

Pediatric patients at "High-risk" for influenza complications (per CDC) include those on chronic aspirin therapy or with chronic medical conditions such as:

  • Pulmonary (asthma, cystic fibrosis),

  • Cardiovascular

  • Renal

  • Hepatic

  • Hematological (sickle cell disease)

  • Metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus)

  • Neurologic

  • Immunosuppression

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