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Rates of neutropenia in adults with influenza A or B: a retrospective analysis of hospitalised patients in South East Queensland during 2015

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Neutropenia in adult patients is often attributed to intercurrent viral infections; however, there are limited data describing the frequency or natural history of this phenomenon. We examined all patients presenting to three large hospitals in the Metro South region of South East Queensland with laboratory‐confirmed influenza A or B throughout the 2015 influenza season (January–October). Four hundred and thirty‐six patients were studied and 15.3% of this cohort were neutropenic (absolute neutrophil count <2.0 × 109/L) with no identifiable cause other than the influenza. Importantly, the majority of cases were mild, with absolute neutrophil count remaining >1.0 × 109/L. The incidence of neutropenia was significantly higher in association with influenza B than influenza A (18.3% vs 10.3%). We conclude that mild, transient neutropenia is common among patients with influenza infection and advise that it should not cause alarm or invite specific investigation unless severe or prolonged.
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Keywords: influenza, adult; neutropenia

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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