HealthDay News — The Infectious Diseases Society of America has updated their recommendations for the care of patients with suspected or diagnosed influenza; the clinical practice guidelines were published online Dec. 19 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Timothy M. Uyeki, M.D., M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues present new information relating to diagnostic testing, treatment, and chemoprophylaxis with antiviral medications for seasonal influenza.

The authors note that most people recover from uncomplicated influenza; however, it can cause complications resulting in severe illness and death. Use of diagnostic modalities and proper result interpretation can accurately identify patients with influenza. 

Early antiviral treatment can reduce symptom duration and risk of complications and hospitalization, and could reduce mortality among high-risk populations. To improve detection of influenza, clinicians should use rapid molecular assays. Antivirals should be started as soon as possible for adults and children with documented or suspected influenza among patients who have been hospitalized with influenza, outpatients with severe or progressive illness, outpatients at high risk of influenza complications, children younger than 2 and adults aged 65 years or older, and pregnant women. Antiviral treatment with a single neuraminidase inhibitor should be started as soon as possible.

“While pandemics aren’t predictable, we know that every year we’re going to have seasonal influenza and we need to improve how we prevent and control it through influenza vaccination, better diagnosis, and early antiviral treatment of patients,” Uyeki said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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