Education Materials

Mount Sinai Hospital is a University of Toronto patient care, teaching, and research centre.
Mount Sinai Hospital is a University of Toronto patient care, teaching, and research centre.

Predictors of Influenza Infection among people 60 years and older in the Emergency Department

What is it about?

  • While we know that the usual influenza symptoms in children and young adults are cough and fever, it is not clear which symptoms and features distinguish influenza from other illnesses in people 60 years and older.
  • The aim of this study is to compare the characteristics of adults who have influenza with those who do not
  • The results of this study will help us better understand the clinical predictors of influenza among older adults and aid clinicians in identifying patients with influenza

Who is being asked to participate?

  • Patients 60 years and older in and have symptoms that may be caused by influenza at one of the following hospital emergency departments:
    • Mount Sinai Hospital
    • North York General Hospital
    • Toronto General Hospital
    • Toronto Western Hospital
    • Brampton Civic Hospital
    • Toronto East General Hospital
  • Long-term care residents are not eligible for this study

What will I need to do if I agree to help out?

  • Participate in an interview (20-30 minutes), where you will be asked questions regarding your health and living conditions, this illness, vaccines you have received, and medications you have taken in the past week.
  • If one has not already been done as part of your care, having a nasopharyngeal swab (a swab of the inside your nose) taken to test for influenza
  • If you test positive for influenza, a call from a study staff member about 7-10 days after this visit to ask questions about how quickly you got better and what other care you needed. If you have not completely recovered, they will ask your permission to contact you again about 2 weeks later.
  • We will also ask for your permission to review your medical chart at the hospital and to contact your doctor(s) to confirm your vaccination history and any previous treatment

How long will the study last?

The study will last from the beginning of influenza activity (around the middle of January) until the end of influenza activity (usually around the end of April, but sometimes a few weeks later).

Are there any risks to participating?

There are no medications required and no physical risks to participating. Nasopharyngeal swabs may performed as part of your medical care, or as part of the study. There may be some discomfort when the swabs are collected. Getting a swab done is not painful, but it may cause discomfort and cause your eyes to water.

Who can I contact to find out more?

Po-Po Lam, Research Coordinator: 416-586-4800 ext 4156,
Dr. Allison McGeer, Principle Investigator: 416-586-3118,

This website has been made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Canada Inc.
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