Uncomplicated influenza infection
Seasonal influenza is usually a self-limited acute respiratory illness that recurs each winter season as different strains emerge. Annual seasonal influenza vaccines are available to immunize against the three expected strains to pass through a community. If seasonal influenza is contracted, institution of antivirals within 36 to 48 hours of onset of symptoms will decrease days of illness by 1 to 2 days and reduce lower respiratory tract complications.
Complicated influenza: viral pneumonia
Patients considered at high risk for seasonal influenza may develop a lower respiratory tract complication of viral pneumonia. This may require more aggressive supportive care or hospitalization.
Complicated influenza: bacterial pneumonia
Patients who have an initial improvement of their respiratory illness followed by recurrence of fever and cough with productive sputum may have a bacterial pneumonia complicating the seasonal influenza infection. This may require more aggressive supportive care, appropriate antibiotic therapy, and/or hospitalization.
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