Influenza and End-Stage Renal Disease: A Fatal Combination

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Influenza epidemics are a major health care problem in the United States causing significant morbidity and mortality. Influenza can occur in all individuals, but immunocompromized hosts and those with chronic diseases such as end-stage renal disease are more susceptible to its fatal complications. Influenza though is largely preventable with the availability of highly efficacious vaccines. Despite the wide array of vaccine types available, the vaccination rates remain dismal, thereby leading to high incidence of the disease. In this report, we discuss a case of an unvaccinated patient with end-stage renal disease who contracted the influenza virus with fatal consequences. This report discusses multiple factors that allowed for a highly preventable disease to cause this negative outcome and provides suggestions to prevent such outcomes in the future.

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