Canadian Acute Respiratory Illness and Flu Scale (CARIFS) for Clinical Detection of Influenza in Children

Fischer, J. B.; Prasad, P. A.; Coffin, S. E.; Alpern, E. R.; Mistry, R. D.

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Jul 11; 53(12):1174-80

Abstract

Background. Validated clinical scales, such as the Canadian Acute Respiratory Illness and Flu Scale (CARIFS), have not been used to differentiate influenza (FLU) from other respiratory viruses. Methods. Secondary analysis of a prospective cohort presenting to the emergency department (ED) with an influenza-like infection from 2008 to 2010. Subjects were children aged 0 to 19 years who had a venipuncture and respiratory virus polymerase chain reaction. Demographics and CARIFS items were assessed during the ED visit; comparisons were made between FLU and non-FLU subjects. Results. The 203 subjects had median age 30.5 months; 61.6% were male. Comorbid conditions (51.2%) were common. FLU was identified in 26.6%, and were older than non-FLU patients (69.7 vs 47.9 months, P = .02). Demographic, household factors, and mean CARIFS score did not differ between FLU (33.7), and non-FLU (32.0) (mean difference 1.6, 95% CI: -2.0 to 5.2) groups. Conclusions. CARIFS cannot discriminate between FLU and non-FLU infection in ED children with influenza-like infection.

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