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Influenza burden of illness, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention: what is the evidence in children and where are the gaps?


Influenza is a disease of global public health significance. Traditionally the emphasis has been on adult disease because of the impact of influenza related mortality in the elderly and other high risk groups. However, it is becoming increasingly better recognised that young children suffer considerable morbidity from influenza.1–6 There are also potential consequences for siblings, parents, other carers, and extended family members in terms of secondary infections and carer leave. Influenza infection in childhood could be effectively prevented through vaccination. However, the United States is the only industrialised country currently recommending universal influenza vaccination for young children (between the ages of 6 and 23 months), as opposed to vaccinating only those with high risk conditions.7,8

  • influenza
  • burden
  • transmission
  • antiviral
  • immunisation

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