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1 in 3 Children with the Flu Can Be At Risk for Serious Complications

During peak influenza season, many children meet criteria for flu-like symptoms including a fever, cough and sore throat. Most children have mild illness and recover quickly, however, some children can develop a more serious illness.

In the September 2014 Pediatrics study, "Severe Complications in Influenza-like Illness," (published online Aug. 4), data were collected on 241 children illness aged 0 to 19 years with moderate to severe influenza-like illness.

High-risk conditions were present in 53.5 percent of cases, and severe complications developed in 35.3 percent of children (most frequently pneumonia). Risk factors including demographics, household exposures and comorbidities were examined. The risk for severe complications was highest in children with neurological or neuromuscular conditions, but no particular type of respiratory virus was associated with these complications.

Study authors conclude that children with flu-like symptoms at risk of developing severe complications should be carefully assessed and monitored. However, because up to 40 percent of children who develop severe complications did not have any underlying conditions, pediatricians should continue to assess all patients, regardless of viral testing results.

Additional Information:

8/4/2014 12:00 AM
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