Seasonal influenza is responsible for excess mortality and morbidity all over the northern hemisphere. To the authors’ knowledge there are no comprehensive data available about morbidity and mortality of hospitalized influenza patients in Austria. The aim of this study was to assess the intrahospital mortality of hospitalized patients with influenza in this tertiary care hospital.
During the 2017-2018 influenza season all patients presenting to the emergency department with influenza-like illness as well as hospitalized patients developing symptoms suggestive of influenza were tested with a rapid real-time PCR influenza test. In total 751 patients were tested at this tertiary care hospital and 330 showed a positive Influenza test result positive and were therefore included in the present study. The primary outcome was intrahospital mortality.
Of the 330 positively tested patients n = 110 (33%) were type A influenza and n = 220 (67%) were type B influenza. The hospitalization rate of patients presenting to the emergency department with a positive influenza test was 59% with a mean length stay of 8.6 days in this hospital and an intrahospital mortality of 8.3% (n = 16). Pneumonia was diagnosed in 30% of hospitalized patients with influenza and antibiotics were used in 65.8% of all hospitalized patients with influenza. Patients aged 80 years and older reached an intrahospital mortality of 16.4%.
The results of the present study show a high hospitalization and intrahospital mortality rate of influenza patients in a tertiary care hospital during the 2017-2018 influenza season in Austria.