Skip to main content

Influenza, Emergency Medicine

Philip Shayne and Carli Blomquist Reviewed 06/2017



  • Acute, usually self-limited, viral infection

  • Transmission: By dispersion in small-particle aerosols created by sneezing, coughing, and talking

  • Virus is deposited on respiratory tract e...


  • Complicated by similar acute infections caused by other respiratory viruses

  • CDC defines influenza-like illness (ILI) as cough or sore throat in a patient with fever >100°F and no alternati...



Vaccination and respiratory hygiene for EMS personnel during outbreaks 

Initial Stabilization/Therapy

Aggressive fluid resuscitation, supplemental oxygen, and positive-pressure ven...



Admission Criteria

  • Hypoxia (pneumonia or reactive airway disease)

  • Severe dehydration

  • Alteration in mental status

Discharge Criteria

Most patients will have a short, self-limited course...

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Become familiar with online CDC weekly update since flu changes each season.

  • In most patients, neither testing nor antiviral treatment is necessary.

  • In patients with respiratory dist...

Additional Reading



  • 487.1 Influenza with other respiratory manifestations

  • 488.02 Influenza due to identified avian influenza virus with other respiratory manifestations

  • 488.82 Influenza due to identified novel in...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.