Influenza in the Intensive Care Unit

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Influenza remains an important epidemic viral infection. Thousands of deaths occur and billions of dollars are spent each year with influenza-related illnesses. Morbidity and mortality are largely attributed to respiratory complications that may require intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Medical and neonatal ICUs, transplant units, chronic-care wards, and nursing homes are at increased risk for nosocomial outbreaks of influenza, which are characterized by abrupt onset and rapid spread. In this article, the authors review the current concepts, recent advances, and management strategies in influenza-associated pneumonia. Pertinent issues to the critical care practitioner are discussed in detail.

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