In this single center study, researchers examined the prevalence of prolonged shedding of influenza virus in hospitalized patients (detected by culture and PCR). Of 147 patients, viral RNA was detectable 1 week after symptom onset in 26% of oseltamivir-treated patients, and 57% of untreated patients. Prolonged clearance was associated with co-morbidities and systemic steroids (for asthma or COPD). In these high risk patients, prolonged viral shedding should be expected (abstract).
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.