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Burden of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infection Considerable

Last Updated: March 29, 2021.

MONDAY, March 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For adults admitted to hospital, the burden of noninfluenza respiratory virus (NIRV) infection is considerable, and associated outcomes may be as severe as those seen with influenza, according to a study published online March 29 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Nelson Lee, M.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues analyzed pooled patient data from two hospital-based respiratory virus surveillance cohorts in two regions of Canada during the 2015/2016, 2016/2017, and 2017/2018 seasons. Data were included for 2,119 patients aged 18 years and older who were hospitalized for influenza-like illness or pneumonia.

Of the participants, 54.6 percent had NIRV infections, including 14.9, 12.9, and 8.2 percent with human rhinovirus/enterovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and human coronavirus, respectively; 45.4 percent had influenza. The researchers found that patients with NIRVs were younger (mean age, 66.4 years) and more often had immunocompromising conditions (30.3 percent); these patients also more often had a delay in diagnosis (median 4.0 days). Of the NIRV infections, 14.6 percent were acquired in hospital. For patients with NIRV infection and those with influenza, admission to the intensive care unit, hospital length of stay, 30-day mortality, and the ordinal outcomes were similar. Worse outcomes were seen in association with age older than 60 years, being in an immunocompromised state, and having a hospital-acquired viral infection. Per acute care admission, the estimated median cost was $6,000.

"Our findings highlight unmet needs and research gaps in therapeutics and vaccines for people at high risk of NIRV infection," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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