Influenza is among the most common infectious causes of pediatric emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Clinicians should use evidence-based guidelines to learn how to identify, manage, prevent, and treat influenza cases. Disease caused by influenza virus can be mitigated with appropriate treatment and prevention efforts.

After completing this article, readers should be able to:

  1. Describe the virology and epidemiology of influenza.

  2. List the clinical features and complications of influenza infections.

  3. List the benefits and limitations of testing modalities for the diagnosis of influenza.

  4. Appropriately apply American Academy of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) treatment guidelines for influenza or suspected influenza.

  5. Describe the importance of influenza vaccination.

Influenza is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality, accounting for close to 1,000,000 global hospitalizations in children younger than 5 years each year. (1) Influenza season duration and severity varies year to year...

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