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Evidence of an oseltamivir treatment effect on influenza A(H3N2) virus infections in hospitalised patients is incomplete.


This cohort study aimed to evaluate risk factors for death among PCR-confirmed hospitalised cases of seasonal influenza A(H3N2) of all ages and the impact of oseltamivir.


Participants included all 332 PCR-confirmed influenza A(H3N2) cases diagnosed between 30 August 2016 and 17 March 2017 in an English university teaching Hospital. Oseltamivir treatment effect on odds of inpatient death was assessed by backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis.


The odds of death were reduced by two thirds (odds ratio (OR): 0.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.11–0.93), in inpatients treated with a standard course of oseltamivir 75 mg two times daily for 5 days – compared with those untreated with oseltamivir, after adjustment for age, sex, current excess alcohol intake, receipt of 2016/17 seasonal influenza vaccine, serum haemoglobin and hospital vs community attribution of acquisition of influenza.


Oseltamivir treatment given according to National Institutes of Clinical Excellence (NICE); United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines was shown to be effective in reducing the odds of mortality in inpatients with PCR-confirmed seasonal influenza A(H3N2) after adjustment in a busy routine English hospital setting. Our results highlight the importance of hospitals complying with relevant guidelines for prompt seasonal influenza PCR testing and ensuring standard oseltamivir treatment to all PCR-confirmed cases of seasonal influenza.


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