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Home :: Infectious Diseases

Influenza - avian influenza symptom, treatment, cause


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INFLUENZA is an acute respiratory illness caused by infection with influenza viruses. It affects all age groups round the year. Influenza, usually known as the flu, is a respiratory infection caused by one of the influenza viruses that typically is spread by air or by direct contact. Most cases occur during epidemics, which peak during the winter months nearly every year. A particularly widespread and severe epidemic is called a pandemic. Most people recover without problems, but sometimes the illness leads to a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection , sinus infection , or bronchitis . Good home treatment may help prevent these infections. The virus can cause infections all year round, but it's most common in the winter in the UK. Anyone can get the flu and the more a person is in close contact with people who have the virus, the more likely they are to get it.

Influenza viruses are designated as Influenza A, B or C depending on the antigenic characteristics of the particular virus. Influenza occurs in epidemic forms in India particularly during a change of season. Influenza (flu) is a viral upper respiratory illness that comes on suddenly, causing symptoms such as fever, body aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, a dry cough, and a sore or dry throat. The flu is not the same as the common cold; flu symptoms are usually more severe, and you will often miss more work or school than you would with a cold.

The flu is a contagious infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by the influenza virus. In people, common symptoms of influenza are fever , sore throat , muscle pains , severe headache , coughing , and weakness and fatigue .Most people who have developed symptoms have had close contact with sick birds, though in a few cases, bird flu has passed from one person to another.The flu is not the same as the common cold; flu symptoms are usually more severe, and you will often miss more work or school than you would with a cold. Influenza can also be transmitted by saliva , nasal secretions , feces and blood . Infections either occur through direct contact with these bodily fluids, or by contact with contaminated surfaces. The symptoms, which include fever, headache, cough, sore throat and muscle aches, appear quickly Influenza Report has also been published in Chinese, Croatian, German, Indonesian, Mongolian, Serbian, and Slovenian . Health officials are concerned that a major bird flu outbreak could occur in humans if the virus mutates into a form that can spread more easily from person to person.People at increased risk for complications that require hospitalization are young children, adults age 65 and older, and those with serious medical problems. Influenza also may cause myositis, exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , Reye's syndrome, myocarditis , pericarditis , transverse myelitis and encephalitis.

Influenza is a viral infection of the lungs characterized by fever, cough, and severe muscle aches. Although the common cold is sometimes confused with influenza, it is a much less severe disease and caused by a different virus. In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia , which can be fatal, particularly in young children and the elderly.If you wish to be informed about new chapters or editions, you may subscribe to the Influenza Report Alert . It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The grimmest scenario would be a global outbreak to rival the flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919, which claimed millions of lives worldwide. Influena usually appears in epidemic form and affects many people at once. Although it affects all age groups, the highest incidence occurs in school children.

Symptoms of Influenza

In Influenza, Symptoms usually subside in 5-7 days. Pneumonias are a common complication. Infection of the heart (Myocarditis) and pericardium (Pericarditis) may occur. The central nervous system (CNS) can also be affected giving rise to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), transverse myelitis (acute lower limb paralysis).

Influenza Fever Symptoms -

Influenza is a acute disease similar to all other fevers. Its cardinal symptoms are:

  • high temperature,
  • aches over the whole body,
  • stiffness of the limbs and a sore throat

Causes of Influenza

The common Causes of Influenza :

  • Influenza is caused by a virus which attacks our body's cells, resulting in various effects depending on the strain of the virus.
  • Therefore, it may also be spread by touching something that has been handled by someone infected with the virus and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes Influenza virus is spread by inhaling droplets that have been coughed or sneezed out by an infected person or by having direct contact with an infected person's secretions
  • Minor changes in the virus (called antigenic drifts) occur nearly every year.
  • The virus mutates all the time and new variations (strains) arise unfortunately immunity against one strain (which is conferred by exposure or immunisation) does not protect against other strains. In the era of rapid air transport the worldwide spread of a new type of influenza can be extremely fast.
  • Widespread outbreaks of the flu usually follow significant changes (called antigenic shifts) in the virus these epidemics occur about every 10 years. People who get the flu tend to become much sicker when a shift in the flu virus occurs.

Treatment of Influenza

Here is the list of the methods for treating Influenza :

  • Shorten the length of the illness.
  • Drink extra fluids - at least one full glass of water or juice every hour.
  • Control outbreaks of the flu in nursing homes.
  • Bed rest.
  • Avoid antibiotics (unless necessary for another illness).
  • Therefore antibiotics have no role in treating influenza in otherwise healthy people although they are used to treat complications.
  • Drink hot water with lemon, ginger and honey.
  • Reduce the spread of the virus to people at high risk for severe complications of the flu ( high-risk groups ).
  • Take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve headaches and muscles aches.