Author: Dr. Peter Bakes
- High risk patients: underlying lung disease, immunocompromised, extremes of age (65), underlying cardiac/renal/neurologic disease, and pregnant women
- Testing: RT-PCR (RNA based test that is both sensitive and specific)
- Workup: comorbidities dictate whether or not they are screened; CXR indicated in high risk patients with respiratory symptoms
- Morbidity from flu comes from secondary pneumonia, sepsis, and septic shock
- Treatment options are Tamiflu and Relenza (Relenza is contraindicated in patients with lung disease)
- High risk patients see average of 2.5 days shortening of illness and a decrease in illness severity. Low risk patients see average of 1.5 days shortening of illness.
Binnicker MJ, Espy MJ, Irish CL, Vetter EA. Direct Detection of Influenza A and B Viruses in Less Than 20 Minutes Using a Commercially Available Rapid PCR Assay. J Clin Microbiol. 2015 Jul; 53(7): 2353-4.