The respiratory system, including the nose, throat, and lungs, are infected by viruses that cause influenza, also known as ""the flu."" Many persons who contract influenza develop severe illness and sometimes fatal consequences. Seasonal influenza is covered in this document.
What triggers the influenza virus?
The influenza A, B, C, and D viruses are four different subtypes. A and B strains of influenza are to blame for the seasonal illness that appears usually every winter. The sickness caused by influenza type C is typically quite mild and frequently symptomless. The influenza type D viruses that afflict cattle are not known to sicken humans. Each subtype of influenza type A viruses is further separated into strains, and there are several subtypes in total. Pandemics have only been brought on by influenza A viruses. The letters H and N stand for the several protein subtypes that make up the influenza virus's outer surface. The haemagglutinin protein, also known as the HA protein, and the neuraminidase protein, sometimes known as the NA protein, are two types of proteins that protrude from the surface of the type A influenza virus. The immune system of the body is capable of producing antibodies that can identify these particular viral proteins, or antigens, and thwart that particular influenza virus. In numerous combinations, 18 different HA protein types and 11 different NA protein types have been identified in avian flu viruses. These combinations have been identified as influenza virus strains H(number) N. (number). H7N1, H9N2, H5N1, etc. are a few examples. The influenza type B virus can be classified as strains rather than subtypes.
What signs of the flu are there?
After being exposed to the virus, symptoms may not show up for 1 to 4 days. Flu symptoms include temperature (over 39°C), coughing, and muscle pains. Sore throat, runny nose, headache, chills, loss of appetite, and exhaustion are additional typical symptoms. While some adults will also experience stomach aches, vomiting, and diarrhea, kids are more likely to encounter these symptoms. The majority of flu sufferers fully recover in 7 to 10 days. However, certain people, particularly the elderly and those with ongoing medical issues, can experience life-threatening complications. Pneumonia is one among these side effects, as is the worsening of pre-existing illnesses including diabetes, congestive heart failure, or asthma.
How is the influenza virus spread?
The major way that influenza viruses pass from person to person is through the droplets that are formed when coughing or sneezing. Coughing, sneezing, and talking into the air cause an infected individual to release droplets that land on adjacent people's mouths or noses. Contact transmission is the term used to describe this flu droplet transmission. Indirect contact, such as touching a contaminated object or surface and then touching your own lips, eyes, or nose before washing your hands, is another way that the influenza viruses can be spread. A fomite is any surface or inanimate object (doorknobs, phones, television remotes, towels, money, clothing, dishes, books, toys, etc.) that can carry an agent after an infected person contaminated it by touching it or sneezing on it. This behavior is also known as ""fomite transmission."" Viruses can live on surfaces, and they do so for a longer period of time on hard, impermeable surfaces (like doorknobs) than they can on porous ones (e.g., clothing). For up to eight hours, the viruses may continue to be contagious. Due to the fact that some ""cold"" viruses (rhinoviruses) have considerably lower infectious doses than ""flu"" viruses, the common cold is more contagious than influenza.
Can the flu be avoided?
By getting vaccinated every year, influenza can be avoided. All Canadians older than six months are advised to get the flu shot, according to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in Canada. Due to a heightened risk of hospitalization, the following individuals are strongly advised to get the influenza vaccine: Adults (including expectant women) and kids with a chronic lung or cardiac condition. Residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, regardless of age. individuals over the age of 65. young children from 6 months to 5 years. people with diseases including obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or lung illness. healthy expectant mothers. Aboriginal people. Also advised to get the vaccine are individuals who can spread the illness to those at high risk. Health care professionals, those who deliver vital community services, those who have close contact with those who are listed as high risk, those who look after or are expecting a newborn child during flu season, child care professionals, or those who live or work in close proximity situations are a few examples (e.g., crew on a ship).
Are there any further ways to stop the infection?
Use the following hygiene techniques to stop the spread of influenza: After touching respiratory droplets and infected objects, wash your hands. (Frequently washing hands and using the right hand care products to prevent skin irritation.) When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with your arm, not your hand. Utilize tissues to hold respiratory droplets in place. Avoid putting your hands near your face (viruses enter the body through your nose, mouth and eyes). Clean areas that are frequently touched, such as light switches and doorknobs. It is appropriate to use common household cleansers and disinfectants. Stay at home if you believe you are sick. The risk of infection can be decreased by practicing good personal hygiene. Vaccination, however, is the most reliable form of prevention."""