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Study: Quick responses to influenza outbreaks reduces illness and death
Date:6/10/2008

as long as those institutions that took longer to begin treating people (6.7 vs. 18.3 days). Early intervention also led to far fewer cases (6.2 cases/100 residents vs. 10.5 cases/100 residents) and deaths (0.45 deaths/100 ill residents vs. 3.3 deaths/100 ill residents).

Given the striking benefits of a quick response, the authors recommend the development of strategies that might hasten an intervention. They suggest that facility staff increase their vigilance for diagnosing influenza cases. They also recommend that the process for collecting respiratory specimens for influenza detection be streamlined, with rapid testing and efficient communication of results from the laboratory to the staff.

The outbreaks the researchers studied occurred between 2001-2004, at which time amantadine was the frontline therapy for treatment and prophylaxis of influenza A. Since 2004, there has been increasing influenza resistance to amantadine and neuraminidase inhibitors have become the newest antivirals of choice. Further study is needed to determine whether rapid initiation of chemoprophylaxis with this class of antiviral drugs will result in similar positive impacts.


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

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