Fast Five Quiz: Influenza During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


November 15, 2022

According to the CDC, hospitalized patients with suspected influenza should begin empiric treatment with oseltamivir as soon as possible, without waiting for test results. Antiviral treatment for influenza can be stopped if influenza is ruled out through the results of a nucleic acid detection assay.

Corticosteroids, used to treat severe COVID-19, may be associated with poor outcomes for influenza. However, dexamethasone has demonstrated substantial benefits for patients with COVID-19 who require supplemental oxygen; the benefits of corticosteroids for patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus coinfection outweigh the harms.

Although severe influenza may be associated with a dysregulated innate immune response, the efficacy of immunomodulatory therapies such as tocilizumab and other interleukin 6 inhibitors for its treatment is uncertain. These immunomodulators have demonstrated a clinical benefit in certain patients with COVID-19; in patients with COVID-19 and influenza, clinicians may consider engaging in a shared decision-making process with patients on use of these drugs.

Although remdesivir is not efficacious in combatting influenza viruses, it has no known drug interactions with oseltamivir. Remdesivir may be safely coadministered with oseltamivir in patients with COVID-19 and influenza.

Learn more about remdesivir.

This Fast Five Quiz was excerpted and adapted from the Medscape articles Influenza Virus Vaccine Quadrivalent, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Clinical Presentation, Influenza, Laboratory Diagnostics and Testing Guidance for COVID-19, and Remdesivir.

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