Journal Article

Current Strategies for Management of Influenza in the Elderly Population

Thomas T. Yoshikawa, Gravenstein Stefan and H. Edward Davidson

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 35, issue 6, pages 729-737
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/341246
Current Strategies for Management of Influenza in the Elderly Population

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Influenza virus remains among the most important pathogens infecting elderly people. Vaccination is the most cost-effective strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality due to influenza. For persons who are not vaccinated or for whom vaccines fail to prevent influenza, there are 2 classes of efficacious drugs for treatment or chemoprophylaxis: M2 channel inhibitors and neuraminidase inhibitors. Effective treatment, however, must commence within 48 h of the onset of symptoms, which can create problems for patients who wait to see whether their symptoms worsen or improve. Older adults who have relocated to the congregate housing environments of assisted living and long-term care facilities deserve special consideration, because influenza exposure risks are different for this group. Strategies for control of influenza must combine preventive approaches, such as vaccination, educational approaches, and the introduction of policies that allow health care professionals anticipate, identify, and efficiently respond to influenza outbreaks.

Journal Article.  5952 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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