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Comparison of influenza A and influenza B virus infection in hospitalized children

Authors


  • AJ Daley, MBBS, BAppSc(MLS), DipPaed, FRACP, Infectious Diseases Registrar. R Nallusamy, MBBS, MRCP, Visiting Fellow. D Isaacs, MD, FRACP, Director.

Correspondence: DrAjDaley Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Laboratory Services, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales 2145, Australia. Fax: (02) 9893 8659; email: andrewd@icpmr.wsahs.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

Background: Influenza A and B viruses were cocirculating in Australia in the winter of 1997.

Objective: To compare the clinical and demographic features of children with influenza A or influenza B virus infection admitted to a paediatric tertiary referral centre.

Methodology: Retrospective chart review of 91 hospitalized children with culture-proven influenza A or B virus infection during 1997.

Results: Thirty-six (56%) of 64 children with influenza A were under 12 months of age compared with seven (26%) of 27 children with influenza B virus infection (P = 0.02). Influenza B virus infection was more common in children with underlying medical problems (P = 0.01). Neurological manifestations were present in eight (12.5%) of 64 children with influenza A and none with influenza B virus infection (P = 0.09). There were no significant differences in signs and symptoms of children with influenza A and B virus infection, in severity of illness or in duration of hospital stay.

Conclusions: A greater proportion of children admitted with influenza A virus infection were under 12 months of age. Influenza B virus infection is associated more commonly with underlying medical disorders. It is not possible to differentiate between influenza A or B virus infection from presenting clinical signs and symptoms.

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