Fast Five Quiz: Influenza Practice Essentials

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


November 03, 2021

The CDC states that clinicians should not wait for the results of influenza testing, SARS-CoV-2 testing, or multiplex molecular assays to initiate antiviral treatment for influenza in high-risk patients. These include hospitalized patients with respiratory illness; outpatients with severe, complicated, or progressive respiratory illness; and outpatients at higher risk for influenza complications who present with any acute respiratory illness symptoms, with or without fever.

The CDC also suggests that antiviral treatment can be considered for any previously healthy, symptomatic outpatient not at high risk for influenza complications, who is diagnosed with confirmed or suspected influenza, based on clinical judgement, if treatment can be initiated within 48 hours of illness onset.

For outpatients with acute uncomplicated influenza, the CDC recommends oral oseltamivir, inhaled zanamivir, intravenous peramivir, or oral baloxavir for treatment. The CDC does not recommend use of baloxavir for treatment of influenza in pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, or severely immunosuppressed persons.

The CDC states that neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications are approximately 70%-90% effective in preventing against susceptible influenza viruses and are useful adjuncts to influenza vaccination.

Read more on influenza treatment.

This Fast Five Quiz was excerpted and adapted from the Medscape Drugs & Diseases article Influenza.

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