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The burden of seasonal influenza in Italy: a systematic review of influenza-related complications, hospitalizations, and mortality
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  • Irene Giacchetta,
  • Chiara Primieri,
  • Riccardo Cavalieri,
  • Alexander Domnich,
  • Chiara de Waure
Irene Giacchetta
University of Perugia

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Chiara Primieri
University of Perugia
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Riccardo Cavalieri
University of Perugia
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Alexander Domnich
IRCCS for Oncology and Neurosciences
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Chiara de Waure
University of Perugia
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Background: reliable country-specific data on influenza burden play a crucial role in informing prevention and control measures. Our purpose was to provide a comprehensive summary of the available evidence on the burden of seasonal influenza in Italy. Methods: we performed a sys-tematic literature review of articles published until 31 July 2020. PubMed, Embase and Web of Science were searched using terms related to burden, influenza, and Italian population. We in-cluded studies investigating seasonal influenza-related complications, hospitalizations and/or mortality. Results: sixteen studies were included: eight (50%) analyzed influenza-related compli-cations, eight (50%) hospitalizations, while seven (43.8%) influenza-related deaths. Only three studies (19.7%) concerned pediatric age. The synthesis of results showed that patients with chron-ic conditions have an increased risk for complications up to almost three times as compared to healthy people. Hospitalizations due to influenza can occur in as much as 5% of infected people depending on the study setting. Excess deaths rates were over six-fold higher in the elderly as compared to the rest of population. Conclusions: although there are still gaps in existing data, there is evidence of the significant burden that influenza places each year especially on high-risk groups. These data should be used to inform public health decision-making.
24 Sep 2021Submitted to Influenza and other respiratory viruses
25 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
25 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
28 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
Mar 2022Published in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses volume 16 issue 2 on pages 351-365. 10.1111/irv.12925