Influenza Is A Contagious Respiratory Infection Caused By The Influenza Virus

1205 Words Dec 15th, 2016 5 Pages
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. The illness can range from mild to severe, and can infect people of all ages, races, genders, and sizes. Generally, the illness is not life threatening in most people, but certain groups are at higher risk of requiring hospitalization or even dying from influenza. These at-risk groups of people include young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. The CDC estimated that there were “25 million influenza illnesses, 11 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 310,000 influenza-related hospitalizations” during the 2015-2016 flu season (cite cdc).
Influenza is a major public health concern, and nurses play a direct role in the health care management of affected patients. Influenza infections lead to a significant increase in primary care and emergency department visits throughout the winter months, or during an epidemic. Delays in diagnosis or improper diagnosis increases the length of time patients spend in the hospital or outpatient offices, and increases repeat visits for the same problem. This puts more of a burden on nurses and nursing personnel, and requires increased staffing to accommodate the extra patients and admissions. Rapid testing for influenza can decrease the improper use of antibiotics and shorten the length of stay for people presenting with upper respiratory infection symptoms. Making a rapid diagnosis of influenza can also translate to…

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