[Source: Journal of Infectious Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Influenza-like illness, the time to seek healthcare, and influenza antiviral receipt during the 201011 influenza season United States

Matthew Biggerstaff 1, Michael A. Jhung 1, Carrie Reed 1, Alicia M. Fry 1, Lina Balluz 2 and Lyn Finelli 1

Author Affiliations: <SUP>1</SUP>Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease <SUP>2</SUP>Division of Behavioral Surveillance, Public Health Surveillance and Informatics Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. USA

Corresponding author: Matthew Biggerstaff, MPH; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE MS A-32; Atlanta, GA 30333; Phone: 404-639-2198; FAX: 404-639-3866; Email: MBiggerstaff@cdc.gov



Few data exist describing health care seeking behaviors among persons with influenza-like illness (ILI) or adherence to influenza antiviral treatment recommendations.


We analyzed adult responses to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 31 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) and pediatric responses in 25 states and D.C. for January April 2011 by demographics and underlying health conditions.


Among 75,088 adult and 15,649 child respondents, 8.9% and 33.9%, respectively, reported ILI. ILI was more frequent among adults with asthma (16%), chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD; 26%), diabetes (12%), heart disease (19%), kidney disease (16%), or obesity (11%).

Forty-five percent of adults and 57% of children sought health care for ILI. Thirty-five percent of adults sought care ≤2 days after ILI onset. Seeking care ≤2 days was more frequent among adults with COPD (48%) or heart disease (55%).

Among adults with a self-reported physician diagnosis of influenza, 34% received treatment with antiviral medications. The only underlying health condition with a higher rate of treatment was diabetes (46%).


Adults with underlying health conditions were more likely to report ILI, but the majority did not seek care promptly, missing opportunities for early influenza antiviral treatment.

Received December 3, 2013. Revision received February 4, 2014. Accepted February 6, 2014.

The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.