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Surges of advanced medical support associated with influenza outbreaks

  • J. C. KING (a1), J. E. SCHWEINLE (a1), R. J. HATCHETT (a2), Y. GAO (a1), R. LICHENSTEIN (a3) and J. ZHOU (a1)...

Summary

We utilized de-identified data to evaluate increases in four outcomes during influenza outbreak periods (IOPs) including: hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation or death for adults aged 18 years or older with medically attended acute respiratory illnesses (MAARI) admitted to any of Maryland's 50 acute-care hospitals over 12 years. Weekly numbers of positive influenza tests in the Maryland area were obtained from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention interactive website. The fewest consecutive weeks around the peak week containing at least 85% of the positive tests defined the IOP. Weekly counts of individual study outcomes were positively correlated with regional weekly counts of positive influenza tests during all the IOPs over 12 years. Also, rate ratios comparing daily occurrences of each study outcome between the IOP and non-IOP were significantly elevated. These results confirm conclusions of previous studies that influenza outbreaks are clearly associated with deaths and increased use of advanced medical resources by patients with MAARI. These data analyses suggest that increased efforts to develop more effective influenza vaccines and therapeutics should be a priority.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: J. C. King Jr., M.D., US Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Washington, DC 20201, USA. (Email: james.king@hhs.gov)

References

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