What you should know about influenza
Definition of influenza virus and its symptoms. How can we prevent it from spreading?
What is influenza?
Influenza virus is an acute respiratory infectious disease with a wide prevalence in every winter. The trends in the prevalence of influenza, however, has been changed to the all seasons since the variants appear through the genetic mutation. The most common influenza type is A which is more infectious and various compared to type B and C. The type of influenza virus B is limited as one, but type A has more antigens (antigen H and antigen N) on its surface. The combinations of the antigens can generate numerous variants as they infect human beings. The common antigen types which cause the severe symptoms are H1, H2, H2, and N1, N2.
Why do we get infected?
Most experts expect that flu spreads through the droplets generated by a person with coughing, sneezing, talking, or other. The droplets in the air can be inhaled by close contacts (people within 6 feet or 1.9m). It is not common but a person can be infected by touching the surface with the flu virus.
Symptoms of influenza
According to the public data, the degree of infection in influenza A and B has differences. The possibility of development in the extreme phase in flu A and B is 84.1% and 15.9% each. During the season from 2019 to 2020, CDC announced that approximately 36 million flu-related illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations, and 25,000 deaths were caused due to influenza in the USA.
[ INFLUENZA LABORATORY SURVEILLANCE INFORMATION
: Virus detections by subtype reported to Flu Net, CDC, 2022;
Reconstructed by NanoEntek technical support team ]
The main symptoms of the flu virus are runny or stuffy nose, cough, sneeze, sore, throat, fever, chills, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and occasionally vomiting with diarrhea.
Common respiratory infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 and influenza can cause complications depending on the status of the patients. A person should not heavily depend on antibiotics but needs to be diagnosed to be treated accordingly.
How do we test?
The presence of influenza virus within a person can be found by either respiratory specimen (e.g. nasopharyngeal swab, sputum, or etc). The rapid diagnostic test (RDT) system provides diagnostic results within 15 minutes. However, it has a lower accuracy compared with the fluorescence immunoassay test (FIA). The FIA test system that detects the presence of a pathogen in less than 15 minutes. The test is highly sensitive and accurate, with a lower false positive rate compared with conventional serologic tests.
The aim of the accurate diagnostic method is to help physicians provide expert diagnosis and treatments to distinguish among patients with colds, influenza, or other upper respiratory tract infections.
Is it dangerous? How can we treat the infection?
A person with the influenza infection usually spreads the virus in the first three to four days after he or she starts feeling illness. In the expert views, the infected person can spread the virus before their symptom actually begins.
In general, those who get sicker or stay sick longer are at higher risk of having a serious illness like pneumonia or worsening respiratory symptoms. A person under age 17, moreover, is in the critical dangers, too. The CDC published the data shows that annually 100 to 200 infants and adolescents lose their lives due to the influenza-Associated infections, even though the condition can be controlled and reduced by early diagnosis.
People who think they might have the flu should keep up with their doctor's instructions and use antiviral medications as appropriate.