Alan is an Infectious Diseases and General Physician in Christchurch, New Zealand. Hailing from bonny Scotland, he trained in the UK, and came to Christchurch in 1999.
Prevention And Management Of Influenza –
Myths, Half-Truths And Fake News
Annual Influenza epidemics affect approximately 10-20% of New Zealanders. Each year there are approximately 400 deaths, giving an annual rate of 10.6 per 100, 000 persons per year. More than 80% of deaths occur in those over 65 years of age, and Maori, Pacifica and those with chronic cardiorespiratory disease are disproportionally affected. Outbreaks in aged residential care facilities ae common and result in significant morbidity and death.
The best way to prevent, diagnose and treat Influenza remains uncertain. Numerous rapid point of care genomic diagnostic tests have been developed. These in general have excellent sensitivity and specificity, but are expensive, and their place in routine diagnostic pathways in debated. Even more controversial is the place of neuraminidase inhibitors in the prevention and treatment of influenza.
I will review the epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention and management of influenza in the community and hospital setting.