Introduction: Seasonal influenza, although often presented as a mild, self-limiting disease, is frequently accompanied by complications that lead to the development of a severe clinical presentation and a fatal outcome. The most common are respiratory complications, with secondary bacterial pneumonia being the leading cause.
Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the impact of pneumonia on the severity of the clinical presentation and outcome in patients with seasonal influenza.
Materials and Methods: This research is comparatively group-based and has been conducted at the University Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Febrile Conditions during a three-year period. The analysis consists of 122 adult patients with clinically and laboratory-confirmed influenza. Based on the severity of the clinical picture, the patients are divided into two groups, severe (n=87) and mild (n=35) forms of the disease. The study included demographic, general data, clinical symptoms, and signs as well as complications.
Results: Of 122 patients with seasonal influenza, complications were registered among 108(88.52%), with a significantly more frequent emergence among the group with severe influenza 93.1% vs 77.14% (p=0.012). Pneumonia was the most common 98(80.33%) and had a significant effect on disease severity (p=0.002). Complications from the types of ABI 8(6.56%), ARDS 7(5.74%), sepsis 5(4.1%), DIC 4 (3.28%) and otitis 2(1.64%) were reported only in the group with severe influenza. Acute meningoencephalitis was registered among 5(4.1%), gastroenterocolitis among 3(2.46%), and hepatic damage among 14(11.47%) of patients.
Conclusion: Pneumonia as the most common complication among patients with seasonal influenza significantly impacts the clinical course and outcome of the illness.