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Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports

Delay in Diagnosis of Influenza Virus in an Elderly Hospitalized Patient: a Fatal Outcome

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Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports 2012:5 5-8

Case report

Published on 08 Jan 2012

DOI: 10.4137/CCRep.S8460


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Abstract

Influenza is a well established cause of seasonal hospitalizations and deaths among older persons. However, influenza is frequently underdiagnosed by physicians, because its clinical presentations are often complex, particularly in elderly patients. We report the case of a 78-year-old woman admitted to the emergency department in January 2008 with fever, vomiting, and a history of asthenia and falls in the preceding three days. Diagnosis of influenza at admission was missed. Influenza was diagnosed by direct fluorescent antibody in a sputum specimen four days later, but the evolution was rapidly unfavorable with fatal respiratory distress syndrome. This case illustrates that, during the influenza season, influenza should be suspected in elderly patients admitted to hospital even if they do not present with classical symptoms. Immunofluorescence testing on sputum specimens can provide a rapid diagnosis and merits further evaluation.



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It was a pleasure participating as a reviewer for Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports. The online access was smooth and very user-friendly. The navigation process for submission of reviewer comments was  flawless.Overall, a very pleasant process. The case report that I reviewed was a very interesting one, very well written and with many interesting points for readers.
Macaulay Onuigbo (Associate Professor, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Nephrologist/Transplant, Physician/Hypertension Specialist, Midelfort Clinic, Mayo Health System, Eau Claire, WI, Regional Direct)
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