Document Detail

Reducing the burden of influenza-associated complications with antiviral therapy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19471854     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: Influenza imposes an annual burden on individuals, society, and healthcare systems. This burden is increased by the development of complications that are often more severe than the primary infection. Here, we examine the main complications associated with influenza and review the effectiveness of antiviral therapy in reducing the incidence of such events. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The content of this review is taken from the study of the authors' extensive collection of reference materials, examination of the bibliographical content of relevant papers, and the results of Medline searches. RESULTS: The most commonly encountered complications in adults are sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and, particularly in the elderly, bacterial pneumonia. Such complications may exacerbate pulmonary complaints. Children are particularly prone to post-influenza croup and otitis media. Complications involving the central nervous system, heart, or skeletal muscle also occur in influenza patients. Influenza-associated complications impose sizeable healthcare costs in terms of outpatient contacts, hospitalizations, and antibiotic use. Vaccination is the primary prevention strategy for influenza and its complications, but has limitations. Neuraminidase inhibitors have demonstrated efficacy in reducing the incidence of influenza-associated complications in populations with different ages and risks. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza complications place a large burden on healthcare providers and society. Neuraminidase inhibitors can reduce the incidence of such complications, particularly in high-risk groups.
B R Ruf; T Szucs
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2009-05-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Infection     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1439-0973     ISO Abbreviation:  Infection     Publication Date:  2009 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-24     Completed Date:  2009-07-14     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0365307     Medline TA:  Infection     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  186-96     Citation Subset:  IM    
2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Klinikum Sankt Georg Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Antiviral Agents / pharmacology,  therapeutic use*
Cost of Illness*
Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology,  therapeutic use*
Health Care Costs
Influenza, Human* / complications,  drug therapy,  economics,  prevention & control
Neuraminidase / antagonists & inhibitors*
Risk Factors
Treatment Outcome
Zanamivir / pharmacology,  therapeutic use
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antiviral Agents; 0/Enzyme Inhibitors; 139110-80-8/Zanamivir; EC

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