Fast Five Quiz: Key Aspects of Influenza

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD

Disclosures

November 25, 2019

The presentation of influenza virus infection varies. Upon examination, patients may have some or all of these findings:

  • Fever of 100°-104°F: Fever is generally lower in elderly patients than in young adults and can be absent in some patients

  • Tachycardia, which most likely results from hypoxia and/or fever

  • Pharyngitis: Even in patients who report a severely sore throat, findings may range from minimal infection to more severe inflammation

  • Eyes may be red and watery

  • Skin may be warm to hot depending on core temperature status; patients who have been febrile with poor fluid intake may show signs of mild volume depletion with dry skin

  • Pulmonary findings may include dry cough with clear lungs or rhonchi, as well as focal wheezing

  • Nasal discharge is uncommon in most patients

  • Fatigued appearance

Patients with influenza who have preexisting immunity or who have received the vaccine may have milder symptoms.

Myalgias are common and range from mild to severe. Frontal or retro-orbital headache is common and may be severe. Ocular symptoms develop in some patients with influenza and include photophobia, burning sensations, or pain upon motion. Some patients with influenza develop rhinitis of varying severity, but it is generally not the chief symptom.

Cough and other respiratory symptoms may be initially minimal but frequently progress as the infection evolves. Patients may report nonproductive cough, cough-related pleuritic chest pain, and dyspnea. Children may experience diarrhea.

Read more on the presentation of influenza.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as:

processing....