Objective To determine the clinical characteristics of infants ≤2 months old hospitalised with influenza A.
Study design The study was a retrospective analysis of infants ≤2 months old hospitalised with fever, respiratory distress and/or sepsis. Clinical signs, laboratory values, hospital duration and outcome were compared between children with influenza A and other viruses.
Results The charts of 268 infants were reviewed. 29 (11%) children had laboratory-confirmed influenza A infection. Unique features associated with influenza infection included the high number presenting with fever (97%) and a history of exposure to family members with a flu-like illness (69%). A significantly lower rate of respiratory distress was observed in the influenza group compared with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (24% vs 89%, p≤0.001). Median duration of hospitalisation for influenza was shorter than RSV (4 days vs 6 days, p<0.001).
Conclusions In young infants, influenza A is a relatively mild disease compared to RSV and is primarily associated with upper respiratory tract manifestations.
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The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Hadassah Medical Center Institutional Review Board.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.