Influenza


Description of virus that causes the disease.

- influenza virus is very contagious
- can strike remarkably large numbers of people in a relatively short time
- common types of the influenza virus are A and B
- responsible for a disease commonly called "the flu."
- RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), that affects birds and mammals
- Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics
- make up three of the five genera of the family Orthomyxoviridae
- Influenza virus can range in size from 80- 120 nanometers (nanometer=1 billionth of a meter)
- spherical shaped
- envelope protecting the nucleic acid with glycoprotein spikes attached

external image influenzafigure1.jpg
Viral Specificity:
- constant changing often enables the virus to evade the immune system of the host ( changing meaning mutating )
- influenza is a respiratory infection
- virus specificity of human in vitro cytotoxic T cell responses to influenza virus

Below: On Earth, a smaller T-cell (arrow) attacks and kills a much larger influenza virus-infected target
external image ctl.gif

Symptoms and progression of the disease:
Chills, Moderate to high fever (101° to 103° Fahrenheit), Sore throat, Runny nose, Muscle aches, Headaches, Fatigue, Cough, Dizziness.
- happens the most in the winter, strongest during flu season
- influenza virus is constantly changing

external image Symptoms_of_influenza.png

Common Methods of Transmission:
- typically is spread by air or by direct contact from one person to another
- three ways: (1) by direct contact with infected individuals;
(2) by contact with contaminated objects (called fomites, such as toys, doorknobs);
and (3) by inhalation of virus-laden aerosols.

Treatment and Prevention (if any):
- lots of rest
- bed rest
- drink lots of fluids to keep your body hydrated
- during flu season make sure you wash your hands more
- keep hands away from eyes, ears, and month during flu season
- avoid smoking

external image vaccine2.jpg

Miscellaneous:
- 35000 people die yearly in the United States
- don't get vaccinated if your allergic to eggs
- a world wide epidemic in 1918 the influenza virus killed 50 million people
- affects birds and mammals
- most likely to get it in late fall and winter
- children 6-23 months are in greater risk of getting complications and dying
- 4000-8000 canadiens die each year
- flu vaccines have been around since 1940

external image InfluenzaChicagoNLM.jpg

Resources accessed:

http://www.medicinenet.com/influenza/article.htm
http://viraldiseasesd.wikispaces.com/Influenza
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/flu-grippe-eng.php
http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content/abstract/122/2/660
http://www.historyofinfluenza.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_size_of_the_influenza_virus