Study: Pregnant women, extremely obese at high risk for flu complications

[UPI, 12/19/18]  The Infectious Diseases Society of America has published new guidelines recommending more aggressive screenings to prevent the potential for health complications from influenza.

Pregnant women and the extremely obese, along with other groups, face a high risk for flu complications that include death, and should be tested this season, a study says.

New guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases Wednesday call for people to ditch the older rapid-influenza diagnostic tests, or RIDTs, which have given false positives in at least 30 percent test for patients with the flu.

Instead, the guidelines recommend that people in high-risk groups take a newer and “highly accurate” molecular test that deliver results in 15 to 60 minutes.

“Influenza can be serious, especially for the sizable group of people at high risk,” Timothy M. Uyeki, co-chair of the guidelines committee and chief medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news release. “Annual influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza, but it is not 100 percent effective. Those at high risk need to be encouraged to seek medical care right away if they develop influenza symptoms during influenza season.”

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