What is Influenza?
The influenza might be called as flu. It might get severe and is mostly found as an epidemic in winter seasons.
Influenza affects everybody and it spreads from one person to another within no time. There is no age group of people who are free from influenza attack. Small babies to elderly people might get infected by influenza.
The people who have less immunity, people undergoing medications major diseases, elderly people and babies are at a higher risk to get influenza. The dreadful form of influenza is pneumonia.
Types of influenza
There are mainly three types of influenza virus. They are:
- Influenza A
- Influenza B
- Influenza C
It might be transmitted from birds and mammals to the humans. they spread the virus rapidly and create an outburst.
Influenza A is popular in several other names. One of the popular names is H1N1.
This is found in a lower rate in humans than Influenza A. A few animals might get infected with influenza B.
Human beings, pigs and dogs are infected by influenza C but it is unusual in humans than the influenza A. This virus belongs to the orthomyxoviridae virus family like influenza A and influenza B viruses.
The usually found influenza symptoms are fever and coughing. The symptoms are treated with proper rest and having nutritious liquid diet with the normal diet.
The primary Influenza Symptoms are:
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Unbearable headache
- Runny nose
Facts and Statistics on Influenza:
- Nearly 25-50 million cases of influenza are reported every year in the United States.
- This flu causes 150,000 hospitalizations and 30,000–40,000 deaths yearly.
- Pneumonia and increase in the severity of cardiopulmonary conditions and other chronic diseases are the major causes of death.
- Elderly people account for more than 90% of deaths caused by the complications of pneumonia and influenza.
- Vaccination taken once every year provides protection against this disease.
According to the available information for the year 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had the following data of vaccination:
|S.No.||Age-group||Percent of People Vaccinated|
- An estimation claims 8400 – 11,700 children below the age of 2 years are hospitalized each year as a result of influenza.
- The hospitalization rate of infants is same as that of the elderly people.
- A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 62.9 percent of parents of do not believe that vaccination is imperative to avoid influenza symptoms in children.
- This leaves most of the infants belonging to the age group of 6-23 months unvaccinated from influenza.
- Unfortunately yearly vaccinations are not effective in providing complete immunity from infection because the virus has very rapid rate of evolution.
- The virus has the unique ability to develop in to different types or strains during this evolution and one such kind is the swine flu influenza which affected the United States and several other nations last year in April 2009.
- The World Health Organization officially declared it to be a pandemic on June 11, 2009.