Influenza – its Symptoms and Causes
Know more about Influenza
Influenza, better known as the “flu,” is an infection of the respiratory tract that can affect millions of people. The influenza virus can be spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing of an infected individual.
Statistics show about 20,000 Americans die from Influenza or Influenza related pneumonia each year. Pneumonia and Influenza are the sixth most common cause of death in the United States. The elderly (65+) make up more than 90% of the 20,000 Americans who die from this illness each year.
A person may contract the influenza virus and not experience any symptoms for a few days. The incubation period for the influenza virus ranges from 1-to 4 days.
Is there more than one type of Influenza virus?
What is Influenza?
There are three different kinds of Influenza viruses: Influenza A, Influenza B, and Influenza C. Influenza A can attack animals and humans, and the remaining two (Influenza B and Influenza C) can only attack humans. Influenza C causes a very mild infection and does not provoke epidemics.
When observed through an electron microscope, influenza viruses are figured like filaments or spheres. Therefore, immunity to one strain of the influenza virus will not protect you against newly born strains of the virus, which have undergone minor changes or mutations.
The Influenza B and Influenza C viruses may infect only human beings. In contrast, Influenza A may infect several different types of animals. Influenza A virus can sicken many animals, including humans, aquatic mammals, birds, horses, swine, and others.
When two different strains of viruses combine in humans or animals, they result in a new unique theme of the virus with more immunity. For example, the modern 2004 Influenza Vaccine comprises three strains, including two strains of influenza A and one strain of influenza B.