Influenza B infections in children: A review

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World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics


Influenza B (IFB) virus belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family and has two antigenically and genetically distinct lineages; B/Victoria/2/87-like (Victoria lineage) and B/Yamagata/16/88-like (Yamagata lineage). The illness caused by IFB differs from that caused by influenza A. Outbreaks of IFB occur worldwide and young children exposed to IFB are likely to have a higher disease severity compared with adults. IFB mostly causes mild to moderate respiratory illness in healthy children. However, the involvement of other systems, a severe disease especially in children with chronic medical conditions and immunosuppression, and rarely mortality, has been reported. Treatment with oseltamivir or zanamivir decreases the severity of illness and hospitalization. Due to the enormous health and economic impact of IFB, these strains are included in vaccines. IFB illness is less studied in children although its impact is substantial. In this review, the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, treatment, prognosis, and prevention of IFB illness in children are discussed.

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