What is a presumptive and differential diagnosis for influenza?

Posted on Thu, 11 Jun 2015 in Infections
Question: What is a presumptive and differential diagnosis for influenza?
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
presumptive=based on reasonable findings differential=other causes

Detailed Answer:

I'm not sure whether you wanted the definition of the two terms or the actual differential diagnosis. I hope I'll address all your queries!

A presumptive diagnosis is based on reasonable findings (for example a positive rapid throat swab test). The differential diagnosis refers to other potential causes of the same clinical picture (the same symptoms and/or findings).

Regarding influenza in particular, a presumptive diagnosis can be made by taking a sample from the throat (using a swab) and testing it either with the rapid test (results in 10 minutes) or with the slower but much more sensitive and specific PCR test.

The differential diagnosis includes a lot of respiratory tract pathogens including all respiratory viruses (like adenoviruses, rhinoviruses etc) and most of the bacterial pathogens that infect the respiratory tract (Str.pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, etc).

Contact me again, if you'd like more information or you'd like to make your question more specific.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 36 minutes later
What therapeutic options exist? Are there any appropriate medications and what doses would be appropriate for patient if the diagnosis of influenza is correct?
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 2 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Not everybody needs treatment

Detailed Answer:
Treatment is advised in 'fragile' individuals like patients with bronchial asthma, pregnant women, the elderly and generally individuals with comorbidities (serious health conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart failure for example). The sooner it's started, the higher the benefit.
Oseltamivir 75mg twice a day for 5 days is the recommended regimen.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3678 Questions


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