Nearly 53% of patients with confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus infection reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) have died since 2003. Those who had progressive disease generally died from complications of ARDS and multiorgan failure. Early recognition of disease and early initiation of oseltamivir treatment may be associated with improved outcomes. The presence of rhinorrhea appears to indicate a better prognosis for children with HPAI H5N1.
Management should follow evidence-based clinical care guidelines for ARDS, septic shock, and other critical care illness. No studies have assessed the long-term sequelae of infection among survivors, but most survivors had only mild disease.
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