Pediatric patients with pandemic strain of flu did not differ much from those with seasonal flu
The pandemic strain of influenza did not have many differing clinical manifestations or effects than seasonal influenza in younger patients, according to research published online.
Emilio Aguirre, MD, and colleagues of the Centre de Recherche en Pédiatrie du CHUL in Quebec, Canada, retrospectively looked at data on 237 pediatric patients. Data were compiled from a children’s hospital in Quebec City, Canada; 127 of the patients had pandemic H1N1 and 110 had seasonal influenza.
In general, patients with the pandemic strain were older, presented quicker and had less gastrointestinal disturbances than seasonal influenza patients, according to the researchers. Patients with the pandemic strain of influenza were also more frequently hospitalized with pneumonia than seasonal influenza patients.
Although national and provincial public health guidelines recommended treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor for patients hospitalized with the pandemic strain — and those involved in the study were about six times more likely to receive a neuraminidase inhibitor than other influenza patients — “less than half of the children admitted to hospital for [the pandemic strain] received antiviral therapy. During the first weeks of the pandemic, the turnaround time for [pandemic] H1N1 test results could reach 48 to 72 hours due to overwhelming demand and the need to ship specimens to the provincial reference laboratory in another city. This could partially account for the low treatment rate observed; antivirals may no longer have been clinical,” the researchers said.
“Results suggest that [pandemic] H1N1 clinical diagnosis and management in the pediatric ED can be performed in a manner similar to seasonal influenza,” they said.
Disclosures: One researcher of the study reported having received a training bursary from Fondation des Étoiles; another researcher is the holder of the Canada Research Chair on emerging viruses and antiviral resistance and is the Canadian Pandemic Team Leader on antiviral resistance and evolution of influenza viruses.
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