Neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) therapy can lead to more positive outcomes in hospitalized patients with influenza B-related pneumonia, new research published in the European Journal of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases suggests.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory viral illness that causes unavoidable hospitalizations and considerable mortality despite improvement in medical technology development and economic progress. Annually, it is estimated that 1 billion people are infected with this virus globally, with 3 to 5 million experiencing severe illness and 290 to 650 thousand related deaths. These numbers highlight that an influenza epidemic may be one of the greatest threats to global health in this century. In 1999, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved NAIs (represented by oseltamivir) as the anti-flu medication and previous clinical trials showed that early NAI treatment (within 48 hours of disease onset) can reduce the severity of the disease and the duration of symptoms by a median of 70 hours. 

Influenza B is frequently overlooked as a result of seasonal influenza A outbreaks, and the pandemics that have been associated with it; however, during the 2017 to 2018 season, influenza B accounted for roughly 40% of all circulating strains of influenza in China.

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