Does this patient have influenza?
ABSTRACT Influenza vaccination lowers, but does not eliminate, the risk of influenza. Making a reliable, rapid clinical diagnosis is essential to appropriate patient management that may be especially important during shortages of antiviral agents caused by high demand.
To systematically review the precision and accuracy of symptoms and signs of influenza. A secondary objective was to review the operating characteristics of rapid diagnostic tests for influenza (results available in <30 min).
Structured search strategy using MEDLINE (January 1966-September 2004) and subsequent searches of bibliographies of retrieved articles to identify articles describing primary studies dealing with the diagnosis of influenza based on clinical signs and symptoms. The MEDLINE search used the Medical Subject Headings EXP influenza or EXP influenza A virus or EXP influenza A virus human or EXP influenza B virus and the Medical Subject Headings or terms EXP sensitivity and specificity or EXP medical history taking or EXP physical examination or EXP reproducibility of results or EXP observer variation or symptoms.mp or clinical signs.mp or sensitivity.mp or specificity.mp.
Of 915 identified articles on clinical assessment of influenza-related illness, 17 contained data on the operating characteristics of symptoms and signs using an independent criterion standard. Of these, 11 were eliminated based on 4 inclusion criteria and availability of nonduplicative primary data.
Two authors independently reviewed and abstracted data for estimating the likelihood ratios (LRs) of clinical diagnostic findings. Differences were resolved by discussion and consensus.
No symptom or sign had a summary LR greater than 2 in studies that enrolled patients without regard to age. For decreasing the likelihood of influenza, the absence of fever (LR, 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25-0.66), cough (LR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.31-0.57), or nasal congestion (LR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.42-0.59) were the only findings that had summary LRs less than 0.5. In studies limited to patients aged 60 years or older, the combination of fever, cough, and acute onset (LR, 5.4; 95% CI, 3.8-7.7), fever and cough (LR, 5.0; 95% CI, 3.5-6.9), fever alone (LR, 3.8; 95% CI, 2.8-5.0), malaise (LR, 2.6; 95% CI, 2.2-3.1), and chills (LR, 2.6; 95% CI, 2.0-3.2) increased the likelihood of influenza to the greatest degree. The presence of sneezing among older patients made influenza less likely (LR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.24-0.92).
Clinical findings identify patients with influenza-like illness but are not particularly useful for confirming or excluding the diagnosis of influenza. Clinicians should use timely epidemiologic data to ascertain if influenza is circulating in their communities, then either treat patients with influenza-like illness empirically or obtain a rapid influenza test to assist with management decisions.
SourceAvailable from: Jorma HinkulaEurosurveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 11/2014; 19(46). DOI:10.2807/1560-7917.ES2014.19.46.20966 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Diagnostic tests for respiratory infections can be costly and time-consuming. Improved characterization of specific respiratory pathogens by identifying frequent signs, symptoms and demographic characteristics, along with improving our understanding of coinfection rates and seasonality, may improve treatment and prevention measures. Febrile respiratory illness (FRI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) surveillance was conducted from October 2011 through March 2013 among three US populations: civilians near the US-Mexico border, Department of Defense (DoD) beneficiaries, and military recruits. Clinical and demographic questionnaire data and respiratory swabs were collected from participants, tested by PCR for nine different respiratory pathogens and summarized. Age stratified characteristics of civilians positive for influenza and recruits positive for rhinovirus were compared to other and no/unknown pathogen. Seasonality and coinfection rates were also described. A total of 1444 patients met the FRI or SARI case definition and were enrolled in this study. Influenza signs and symptoms varied across age groups of civilians. Recruits with rhinovirus had higher percentages of pneumonia, cough, shortness of breath, congestion, cough, less fever and longer time to seeking care and were more likely to be male compared to those in the no/unknown pathogen group. Coinfections were found in 6% of all FRI/SARI cases tested and were most frequently seen among children and with rhinovirus infections. Clear seasonal trends were identified for influenza, rhinovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus. The age-stratified clinical characteristics associated with influenza suggest that age-specific case definitions may improve influenza surveillance and identification. Improving identification of rhinoviruses, the most frequent respiratory infection among recruits, may be useful for separating out contagious individuals, especially when larger outbreaks occur. Overall, describing the epidemiology of pathogen specific respiratory diseases can help improve clinical diagnoses, establish baselines of infection, identify outbreaks, and help prioritize the development of new vaccines and treatments.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e114871. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114871 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Report to the Operations Sub-committee of the Ontario Health Pandemic Influenza Plan Steering Committee