Influenza in children

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Purpose of review

We review the current information and evidence available on the global burden of disease in the pediatric population, clinical presentation and complications, testing, treatment, and immunization.

Recent findings

In addition to multiple other risk factors for influenza complications, children with neurologic and neuromuscular disorders are significantly higher risk for serious complications. In practice, there is no lower age limit for children with influenza who can be treated with oseltamivir. The quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine was not recommended for use during the 2016–2017 season due to poor effectiveness.


Influenza infection causes a significant burden of disease each year in the pediatric population worldwide. Both healthy and chronically ill children can fall prey to complications either due to the virus itself or secondary bacterial infection. Children within high-risk groups should be tested and treated with neuraminidase inhibitors. Immunization against influenza is well tolerated and effective.

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