Influenza. Cause and treatment.

Influenza a very common A virus which causes influenza in birds and some mammals, and is the only specie of influenza virus A genus of the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses. Influenza is commonly called flue. The flue is very common in birds and some mammals especially in man. It make the person very upset and sometimes suffers from fever and physical pain. There are many types of Influenza virus among which following are the most common.

  • Influenza A
  • Influenza B
  • Influenza C
  • Influenza D

A and B are known as Human Influenza Viruses. These viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease almost every winter in the United States as well as all through the world. The emergence of a new and very different influenza A virus to infect people can cause an influenza pandemic.

Influenza A virus is divided into many types bases on two types of proteins on their surface;  hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. Hemagglutinin have 18 different subtypes, while neuramnidase has 11 subtypes. The combination of these two types of proteins makes many different types of Influenza A Virus.

Some of the most common types of Influenza A virus which are found in people are influenza A (H1N1) and influenza A (H3N2) viruses. A new type of Influenza A namely A (H1N1) was erupted in people in 2009 and caused severe illness. This type of virus was very different from the most common Human Influenza (H1N1). The new virus caused the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years. That virus (often called “2009 H1N1”) has now replaced the H1N1 virus that was previously circulating in humans.

Influenza B viruses are not divided into sub-types, but can be further broken down into lineages and strains. Currently circulating influenza B viruses belong to one of two lineages: B/Yamagata and B/Victoria.

Most Dangerous Influenza Viruses:

The highly contagious virus, influenza sickens far more people than it kills, with an estimated 3 million to 5 million people becoming seriously ill yearly from influenza viruses. Worldwide, the flu causes an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  The large variation in yearly deaths arises because many flu deaths are not reported as such, so the CDC relies on statistical methods to estimate the number. Another reason for this wide range is that annual flu seasons vary in severity and length, depending on what influenza viruses are most prominent. In years when influenza A (H3N2) viruses are prominent, death rates are typically more than double what they are in seasons when influenza A (H1N1) or influenza B viruses predominate, according to the CDC.

Among these Influenza A , the H5 N1 and H3N2 are the most dangerous which killed millions of people in the world.

Symptoms of Influenza:

If you suffer from flu you will feel some of the following or all of the following symptoms. As flu is an contagious respiratory illness, therefore most of the impact of the flu is put over respiratory track. You feel irritation and cough and flowing from respiratory track. The illness of flue is sometimes mild and severe. The severe condition of illness can also lead to death. An the cases of death throughout the globe are in thousands.

  • Fever or feverish feelings.
  • Cough and itchy throat.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Muscle and body aches.
  • Headaches and feelings of hollowness of head.
  • Fatigue and tiredness.
  • In children the vomiting and diarrhea is common during flu. But sometimes adult may also suffer from diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Change of voice because of the throat soreness.

Cure and treatment of Influenza:

Generally people use antibiotics in influenzal conditions, but antibiotics are not effective source of treatment for a viral disease and you need nothing more than bed rest and plenty of fluids to treat the flu. But if the case is severe and you suffer from chill/fever you may use some type of antiviral medicines like Oseltamir (Timiflu) or Zanamivir (Relenza). The main thing is to nip the illness in the bud, and start treatment in the very starting stage. The illness will be controlled soon and the period for remain ill will be shortened and you will not pass through complicated phases of illness.

Oseltamivir is an oral medication and is available in liquid as well as tablet form. Zanamivir is inhaled through a device similar to an asthma inhaler. But beware that Zanamivir should not be inhaled at all if you are suffering some respiratory disease like asthma.

An addition,  some strains of influenza have now become resistant to antiviral medicines like oseltamivir, amantadine and rimantadine (Flumadine), but these medicines are used in all cases of influenza.

Apart from all these treatments the bed rest is the best method to cure influenza.

Side Effects of Antiviral Medicationes:

The main side effect of Antiviral medication is vomiting and nausea, but if the oral antiviral medicine like Oseltamivir is taken along with foods, the side effect may not be felt. Oseltamivir has also been associated with delirium and self-harm behaviors in teenagers.

Some researchers recommend further study on both of these drugs because of uncertainty about their effects beyond a slight reduction in the time of illness. Some studies have suggested that these medications can also help reduce the severity of complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends their use for some people.



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