Noninfluenza viruses have rates of illness, death similar to flu

influenza
3-D print of influenza virus. The virus surface (yellow) is covered with proteins called hemagglutinin (blue) and neuraminidase (red) that enable the virus to enter and infect human cells. Credit: NIH

Noninfluenza respiratory viral infections (NIRV) are associated with illness and death rates similar to influenza in hospitalized adults, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

In a study of 2119 adults admitted to two hospitals over three seasons (2015-2018) in Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario, with confirmed viral acute respiratory infections, more than half (54.6%) were NIRV infections compared with (45.4%). Among patients with NIRV infections, 21.1% needed respiratory support, 18.2% required lengthy hospital stays and 8.4% died within 30 days of diagnosis. About 15% of NIRV infections were acquired in hospital.

"These findings show that clinical status changes for patients with NIRV infections were comparable to patients with influenza," writes Dr. Nelson Lee, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, with coauthors. "The associated costs of hospital admission were substantial."

Patients with NIRV infections were generally younger than those with influenza, although many had underlying conditions, such as compromised immune systems.

"Our findings highlight unmet needs and research gaps in therapeutics and vaccines for people at high risk of NIRV infection," the authors conclude.

"Burden of noninfluenza respiratory viral infections in adults admitted to : analysis of a multiyear Canadian surveillance cohort from 2 centres" is published March 29, 2021.


Explore further

Risk of death from COVID-19 3.5 times higher than from flu

More information: Nelson Lee et al. Burden of noninfluenza respiratory viral infections in adults admitted to hospital: analysis of a multiyear Canadian surveillance cohort from 2 centres, Canadian Medical Association Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.201748
Citation: Noninfluenza viruses have rates of illness, death similar to flu (2021, March 29) retrieved 19 April 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-03-noninfluenza-viruses-illness-death-similar.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
4 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments