Case series of rash associated with influenza B in school children

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Abstract

This case series describes morbilliform and other rash presentations among schoolchildren during a March 2014 outbreak of influenza-like illness (ILI) in British Columbia, Canada. Multiplex nucleic acid testing of nasopharyngeal specimens and paired serologic investigations identified that influenza B, characterized as B/Massachusetts/02/2012-like (Yamagata-lineage), was the only viral aetiology and most likely cause of ILI and rash. An association between influenza B and rash has been described infrequently elsewhere, and not previously in North America. Influenza B should be considered in the differential diagnosis of febrile exanthem. Evaluation of the nature, incidence and contributing agent–host–environment interactions, and immunologic mechanisms to possibly explain influenza-associated rash is warranted.

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