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Effectiveness of Influenza Antiviral Treatment in Outpatient Settings


Rebekah Stewart Schicker, MSN, MPH, APRN, Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Influenza Division, explains how antiviral flu treatments may be affecting patients in the outpatient setting.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“[Data on] the effectiveness of influenza antiviral treatment in the outpatient setting is somewhat limited; but what data we do have from a large trial that looked at ten clinical trials shows that patients who are given antiviral treatment as opposed to those who aren’t and who have influenza, are 50% less-likely to have a secondary complication such as pneumonia.
There [are] also studies that show that children who are given Tamiflu early have lower rates of complications such as otitis media, or ear infections. In the hospitalized setting we see a lower rate of severe clinical outcomes, including death, among people who are receiving antiviral treatment.”
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Influenza A (H3N2) has caused most of the illnesses in this severe flu season, but influenza B is becoming increasingly responsible for more infections as the flu season continues to hit the United States.