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Health, Medicine, Nursing
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Core Research Summary (Term Paper Sample)

Please answer the following question using the attachment provided. "In patients over 65 years-of-age, how does the flu vaccine compare to the administration of antivirals in reducing morbidity and mortality in those who contract the flu? Is the VA outpatient clinic currently using best-practice in regards to use of antivirals? Frame these questions with the PICO information". source..

Core Research Summary
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Core Research Summary
The word influenza refers to an illness that results from the infection by Orthomyxoviridae viruses and are associated with fever, chills, sore throat, coughing and general malaise (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012). The significance of pneumonia in elderly patients lies in the fact that it is responsible for complications such as viral or bacterial pneumonia even among relatively healthy people. Some strains of influenza, such as the H1N1, also known as swine flu or bird flu have caused deaths worldwide. It is for this reason that prevention of pneumonia is preferred as opposed to treatment.
Prevention of influenza is normally done through vaccination among other measures. Vaccines such as the trivalent influenza vaccine have been used for the treatment of influenza as well as the administration of antivirals such as neuraminidase inhibitors for example oseltamvir and zanamvir (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2011). The use of antiretrovirals has been recommended for people that are over 65 years of age as it was noticed that the influenza specific vaccine was not as effective for this group (Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration, 2010). However, the use of antiretrovirals such as amantadine and rimantadine has been found to be effective depending on when they are administered. When administered just at the onset of the first symptoms of influenza, they have been found to reduce the severity of the symptoms as well as reducing the time that an individual suffers from the disease (Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration, 2012). These drugs are also very effective when given as prophylaxis for the disease in spite of the fact that they are only effective against some strains of influenza.
The VA outpatient clinic currently administers the vaccine to all individuals regardless of age. The administration of the vaccine may not be appropriate for the older populations as studies have shown that the vaccine is only effective for 9% of the population that is 65 years and older. However, the fact that influenza is treated with antiretrovirals at the centre is good practice as it has been seen that these facilitate faster healing of influenza in comparison to vaccines. In fact, vaccines are rarely used for the treatment of influenza at the centre (Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration, 2012).
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2012). Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: Recommendations of the ...
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