When are specialist consultations indicated for the treatment of influenza?

Updated: Apr 23, 2019
  • Author: Hien H Nguyen, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Consultation with an infectious disease specialist is prudent in some cases of seasonal influenza. For management of severe disease, intensive care specialists must be involved.

In suspected H5N1 influenza, a pulmonary specialist, a critical care specialist, an infectious disease specialist, and the staff of the local public health department may all be consulted. Clinical laboratory personnel should be informed before potential H5N1 isolates are sent to them. In addition, hospital infection-control officers should be involved early in the care of any patient who might have avian flu. Ultimately, the WHO, the CDC, or both should be contacted; the CDC can safely perform serotyping for suspected avian influenza strains.

Early involvement of the local public health department and the hospital infection control service is necessary to contain any outbreaks.


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