PHE antivirals for influenza FAQ

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10 questions that Public Health England is often asked regarding their advice on using antivirals for treatment and prophylaxis of seasonal influenza

This page covers 10 questions that Public Health England is frequently asked regarding their advice on using antiviral agents for the treatment and prophylaxis of seasonal influenza:

  1. When should I consider continuing antiviral therapy beyond 5 days?
  2. What is meant by ‘poor clinical response to first line treatment’?
  3. In which groups of patients are influenza viruses with reduced antiviral susceptibility more likely to emerge?
  4. If zanamivir resistance is suspected, should I switch to oseltamivir?
  5. What is the role of repeat sampling and laboratory testing in patients receiving antivirals?
  6. Should healthcare workers with no underlying illness who are unvaccinated be offered antiviral prophylaxis?
  7. What is the role of previously diagnosed influenza (laboratory detected) when a person presents with a new influenza-like illness in the same season?
  8. What are the recommendations with regard to use of oseltamivir in neonates exposed to mothers with seasonal influenza? (updated 2018)
  9. Should diagnostic sampling for influenza be performed when commencing antiviral post-exposure prophylaxis?
  10. Should the standard treatment dose of oseltamvir be doubled (‘double-dosing’) when treating patients with severe illness caused by seasonal influenza infection?


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