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PLoS Curr. 2010 Mar 29;2:RRN1154.

Lymphocyte to monocyte ratio as a screening tool for influenza.

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University of Patras, Public health department; University of patras, Public health department; ED Olympion Hospital; University of Patras and Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Patras.


In fall 2009 the emergency department of a clinic in Greece with increased patient visits due to influenza-like illness observed a particular pattern in the complete blood count (CBC) of these patients. In 90% of all patients with probable influenza, lymphopenia and/or monocytosis were present. Relative lymphopenia with or without monocytosis appears to be a laboratory marker for H1N1 virus infection, a finding that could play a major role in early identifying and treating patients with new influenza A. A ratio of lymphocytes to monocytes below 2 is proposed as a screening tool for influenza infection instead of rapid tests.


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