Management of Influenza
In accordance with the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the first option for reducing the effect of influenza is through annual vaccination with either inactivated (ie, killed virus) vaccine or live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). Both types of vaccine differ based on their route of administration, administration guidelines, and approved age and risk groups.27
Flu vaccine: the first line of defense
According to the ACIP, influenza vaccine can be administered to any person aged ≥6 months who does not have contraindications to vaccinations.27
- Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (IIV3) can be used for any person aged 6 months and older, including those with high-risk conditions.27
- Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) may be used for healthy, nonpregnant persons aged 2-49 years.27
- Quadrivalent flu vaccine (LAIV) is available for active immunization of persons 2 through 49 years of age for the prevention of influenza disease caused by influenza A subtype viruses and type B viruses contained in the vaccine.40,41
Managing influenza with an antiviral treatment32
Vaccination is the first line of defense against influenza. According to the CDC, antiviral medications can also be effective at treating and preventing influenza.
- Antiviral treatment should be started within 48 hours of influenza illness onset.
- Treatment should not be delayed while the results of diagnostic testing are awaited.
- Antiviral treatment also can be considered for any previously healthy, non–high-risk, symptomatic outpatient with confirmed or suspected influenza based upon clinical judgment, if treatment can be initiated within 48 hours of illness onset.
- As an adjunct to vaccination, antivirals are 70% to 90% effective in preventing influenza.
- Postexposure chemoprophylaxis is typically administered for 7 days after the most recent known exposure.
- Generally, postexposure chemoprophylaxis for persons should be only used when antivirals can be started within 48 hours of the most recent exposure.
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Did you know?
In a clinical study, adults and adolescents aged 13 years and older who took Tamiflu within 48 hours of first flu symptoms recovered 30% (32 hours) faster than those who didn't take Tamiflu.14