Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young, unvaccinated adults account for severest flu cases

Date:
February 10, 2014
Source:
Duke Medicine
Summary:
A snapshot of patients who required care at one American hospital during this year’s flu season shows that those who had not been vaccinated had severe cases and needed the most intensive treatment.

A snapshot of patients who required care at Duke University Hospital during this year's flu season shows that those who had not been vaccinated had severe cases and needed the most intensive treatment.

In an analysis of the first 55 patients treated for flu at the academic medical center from November 2013 through Jan. 8, 2014, Duke Medicine researchers found that only two of the 22 patients who required intensive care had been vaccinated prior to getting sick.

The findings were published online in Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Our observations are important because they reinforce a growing body of evidence that the influenza vaccine provides protection from severe illness requiring hospitalizations," said lead author Cameron Wolfe, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Duke. "The public health implications are important, because not only could a potentially deadly infection be avoided with a $30 shot, but costly hospitalizations could also be reduced."

Wolfe said this year's flu season was marked by hospitalizations of previously healthy young people, with a median age of 28.5 years. Among those who were hospitalized at Duke, 48 of the 55 were infected with the H1N1 virus that caused the 2009 pandemic. That outbreak also hit young adults particularly hard.

"We observed a high percentage of hospitalized patients for influenza requiring ICU level care, which appears higher than observed in our hospital during the 2009 pandemic flu season," said co-author John W. Hollingsworth, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Duke. "It remains unclear whether the high rate of ICU admissions represents a diagnosis bias or whether the severity of illness being caused by the current H1N1 virus is higher."

Of the 33 patients admitted to regular wards rather than the ICU at Duke University Hospital, only eleven had been vaccinated; most of those were immune compromised, chronically ill, or were on a medication that weakened the vaccine's protection.

The study also echoes other studies that have highlighted problems with a rapid test for influenza. Wolfe said 22 of the patients treated at Duke University Hospital had been given a rapid influenza test that came up negative for flu, but they were actually positive when tested by other methods. As a result, they had not received anti-viral medications that might have eased flu symptoms had they been taken early.

"Together, our observations during this influenza season support a high prevalence of the H1N1 virus affecting young adults and requiring ICU care, high false negative rates of rapid flu tests, and delay in starting antiviral treatment," Wolfe said. "Added to the finding of very low vaccination rates among both hospitalized and ICU admissions, our observations support previous findings that vaccination reduces the severity of disease and vaccinations should be encouraged as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jelena Catania, Loretta G Que, Joseph A Govert, John W Hollingsworth, Cameron R Wolfe. High ICU admission rate for 2013-2014 Influenza is associated with a low rate of vaccination. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, February 2014 DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201401-0066LE

Cite This Page:

Duke Medicine. "Young, unvaccinated adults account for severest flu cases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210135906.htm>.
Duke Medicine. (2014, February 10). Young, unvaccinated adults account for severest flu cases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210135906.htm
Duke Medicine. "Young, unvaccinated adults account for severest flu cases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210135906.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins