Infectious Diseases Society of America updates flu guidelines: 4 things to know

Pregnant women and obese patients are among those at high risk of flu-related complications, according to the International Diseases Society of America's seasonal influenza guidelines published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The guidelines are an update of clinical practice guidelines IDSA published in 2009 before the H1N1 pandemic. The resource contains new information on diagnostic testing, treatment and chemoprophylaxis with antiviral medications, along with insights on outbreak management for healthcare facilities.

Here are four things to know:

1. Instead of using rapid-influenza diagnostic tests, IDSA recommends clinicians use newer, more accurate molecular tests that offer results in 15-60 minutes.

2. Individuals at high risk of developing flu complications include obese patients, young children and women who've recently given birth.

3. Clinicians should immediately start antivirals for high-risk patients admitted to the hospital with suspected flu, without waiting for test results. These patients should also receive antivirals even if they've had symptoms for more than two days.

4. Outpatients diagnosed with the flu and at high risk for complications should also receive antiviral treatment as soon as possible.

To view the full guidelines, click here.

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