Study: Well-Child Visits May Cause 780,000 Influenza Cases Each Year

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Pediatric check-ups, while recommended to assess child health and development, may be responsible for facilitating nearly 780,000 additional cases of influenza or influenza-like-illness during flu season, according to an article in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers analyzed the rate of ILI in nearly 85,000 families who had had a well-child visit for at least one of their children in the two weeks preceding a child or family member hospital visit for an ILI. For families with a well-child visit within those two weeks, influenza rates were higher than the general population.

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Researchers estimated the cost of the potential 780,000 extra cases of ILI to be around $500 million annually. To reduce the unnecessary strain on the healthcare system, they suggested scheduling well-child visits around peak flu season and strictly enforcing infection control recommendations.

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