Influenza Virus The Global Epidemic
Summary: Influenza virus is an epidemic virus that has caused widespread damage to human lives throughout the world. Small children, elders and unhealthy people are more prone to this virus than the normal people are. By regular vaccination and proper hygiene, one can safeguard oneself from this virus.
Influenza virus infection is an acute respiratory illness that infects the nose, lungs and throat. The virus spreads from person to person and can affect persons of any age. The disease caused by the above virus can range from mild to severe level and at times can lead to death. Being an epidemic disease, it has caused severe public health problems throughout the world. It is known to infect more people during winter season.
It is estimated every year that 36,000 people die and 114,000 are hospitalized due to this virus.
The virus can spread by many means such as by coughing, sneezing, or by coming in contact with the objects containing the virus. The general symptoms of the virus are headaches, body aches, fever, fatigue, etc. Many people who are infected by influenza virus do not show any symptoms of the virus, but are still contagious. The only way to prevent the spread of the virus is by vaccination and this is being carried out at a large scale in many places throughout the world.
Influenza Virus Types
There are three types of Influenza. The three types of the virus are Influenza A, Influenza B and Influenza C. Influenza A virus can be categorized into subtypes based on the nature of surface proteins. Influenza A and Influenza B are the prominent viruses throughout the world. Influenza C is less frequent compared to Influenza A and B. Influenza A(H1N1) and influenza A(H3N2) subtypes are more widely spread than the other subtypes.
In general, the virus attacks people of all ages but young children below the age of 2, elders above 65 years, people having weak immune system and other health problems are more prone to influenza. The virus can spread through infected droplets or by hand contact with the person infected by the virus. To prevent the spread of the virus, the infected persons should cover their nose and mouth while coughing, and wash their hands frequently.
Person infected by the virus should immediately begin treatment of drugs to avoid the spread of the disease. Anti-viral drugs have shown good results in the treatment of the virus and have been effective in countering the virus. Two types of medicines are commonly prescribed to deal with the virus, they are Adamantanes and inhibitors of influenza neuraminidease. The drugs that come under Adamantanes are amantadine and remantadine, and the drugs that come under inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase are oesltamivir and zanamivir.
By administering regular vaccination, taking proper care of oneself, and maintaining hygiene, one can stay away from influenza virus.