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Antivirals reduce deaths from flu in hospitalized patients
Date:11/12/2007

e been immunocompromised for non-flu related reasons and might therefore retain the virus longer than healthy patients. Another possibility is that patients who require hospital admission for influenza are a small subgroup of the people who get infected. These patients may have trouble controlling the virus and thus develop more serious, more prolonged illness.

This research supports the use of antiviral medications to treat people hospitalized with influenza. Antiviral medications are very safe, have no significant drug interactions, and relatively few side effects, said Dr. McGeer. You dont, however, want to take them if you dont need them. As with antibiotics, there is a risk of selection for antiviral resistance and it is important to use the medications only where there is a clear benefit.

The authors do not want to diminish the value of influenza vaccines. There is a great deal of data proving that vaccine is effective and cost-effective, added Dr. McGeer. Our data simply say that despite the substantial reductions in death and illness associated with vaccine use, considerable morbidity and mortality due to influenza remain. We needand people are working onbetter vaccines; until we get them, we can help people by diagnosing and treating disease.


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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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