See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

Influenza Under-Recognized in Young Children

Because few laboratory-confirmed cases are diagnosed, few children are receiving therapy

WEDNESDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza infections cause a substantial disease burden in children under age 5, yet few such infections are clinically recognized and treated with specific therapy, according to a study published in the July 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Katherine A. Poehling, M.D., of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues conducted a population-based surveillance of medical visits associated with laboratory-confirmed influenza during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 influenza seasons.

The researchers found that the average annual rate of influenza-associated hospitalization was 0.9 per 1,000 children. The average annual rates of influenza-associated outpatient visits were 50 clinic visits and six emergency department visits per 1,000 children during the 2002-2003 season and 95 clinic visits and 27 emergency department visits per 1,000 children during the 2003-2004 season. Among children with laboratory-confirmed influenza, only 28 percent of inpatients and 17 percent of outpatients received a diagnosis of influenza by the treating physician.

"As a consequence, few patients were offered specific therapy for infection with the influenza virus," states the author of an accompanying editorial. "This lack of recognition represents a missed opportunity to intervene to reduce both the risk of complications and the spread of the virus to contacts."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing


HealthDay is the world’s largest syndicator of health news and content, and providers of custom health/medical content.

Consumer Health News

A health news feed, reviewing the latest and most topical health stories.

Professional News

A news feed for Health Care Professionals (HCPs), reviewing latest medical research and approvals.