Are there any differences in clinical and laboratory findings on admission between H1N1 positive and negative patients with flu-like symptoms?
1 Unit of Infectious Diseases, University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Greece
2 Laboratory of Hygiene and Environmental Protection, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
3 Lung Tumor Research Section, Aristotle University Pulmonary Clinic, Thessaloniki, Greece
BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:4 doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-4Published: 7 January 2011
The World Health Organization alert for the H1N1 influenza pandemic led to the implementation of certain measures regarding admission of patients with flu-like symptoms. All these instructions were adopted by the Greek National Health System. The aim of this study was to retrospectively examine the characteristics of all subjects admitted to the Unit of Infectious Diseases with symptoms indicating H1N1 infection, and to identify any differences between H1N1 positive or negative patients. Patients from the ED (emergency department) with flu-like symptoms (sore throat, cough, rhinorhea, or nasal congestion) and fever >37.5°C were admitted in the Unit of Infectious diseases and gave pharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swabs. Swabs were tested with real-time reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR).
Patients were divided into two groups. Group A comprised 33 H1N1 positive patients and Group B (control group) comprised of 27 H1N1 negative patients. The two groups did not differ in terms of patient age, co-morbidities, length of hospitalization, temperature elevation, hypoxemia, as well as renal and liver function. There were also no significant differences in severity on admission. C-reactive protein (CRP) (mean 12.8 vs. 5.74) and white blood count (WBC) (mean 10.528 vs. 7.114) were significantly higher in group B than in group A upon admission. Obesity was noted in 8 patients of Group A (mean 31.67) and 14 patients of Group B (mean 37.78). Body mass index (BMI) was lower in H1N1 positive than in H1N1 negative patients (mean 31.67 vs. 37.78, respectively; p = 0.009).
The majority of patients in both groups were young male adults. CRP, WBC and BMI were higher among H1N1 negative patients. Finally, clinical course of patients in both groups was mild and uneventful.