Background: In March 2009, an outbreak of respiratory illnesses was first noted in Mexico, which was eventually identified as being related to H1N1 influenza A. Treatment should be initiated as soon as possible because antiviral therapy is most likely to provide benefit when initiated within the first 48 hours of illness. However, the role of oseltamivir in otherwise healthy people presenting with infuezalike illness (ILI) symptoms is not clear. We determined the association between oseltamivir treatment and regression of the influenza symptoms in a cohort of non–high risk patients with ILI.
Methods: We retrospectively enrolled 132 male patients (mean age, 21 years) admitted to the sanitarium of a recruit training center of the Hellenic armed forces between February 3 and March 2, 2011, with ILI symptoms.
Results: Twenty-seven (20.5%) of the 132 patients were classified as having progressive illness and were treated with oseltamivir (group 1), whereas 105 (79.5%) of the 132 patients were classified as having mild or uncomplicated disease and did not receive antiviral therapy (group 2). The mean difference between the duration of the symptoms was found to be 0.8 day (P = 0.003), which is statistically significant. On the contrary, the mean difference of the hospitalization period was not statistically significant (mean difference, 0.13 days (P = 0.66).
Conclusions: The use of oseltamivir improved the recovery of the progressive illness patients, without affecting the hospitalization period in the sanitarium.