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Influenza a viral infection

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Influenza a viral infection

Influenza,  is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs.. It is  commonly known as “the flu“. Symptoms are typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. But sometimes, influenza and its complications can be deadly. Usually, the virus is spread through the air from coughs or sneezes. This is believed to occur mostly over relatively short distances

Types of virus

 In virus classification influenza viruses are RNA viruses that make up three of the five genera of the family Orthomyxoviridae:
  • Influenzavirus A,
  • Influenzavirus B,
  • Influenzavirus C

Symptoms

 Symptoms can be mild to severe

  • a high fever,
  • runny nose,
  • sore throat,
  • muscle pains,
  • Chills and sweats,
  • headache,
  • coughing,
  • and feeling tired
  • Irritated, watering eyes
  • Reddened eyes, skin (especially face), mouth, throat and nose
  • Petechial rash

People at higher risk of developing flu complications include:

  • Young children under 5, and especially those under 2 years and Adults older than 65
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes
  • People who are very obesity

When flu symptoms and are at risk of complications, see your doctor right away.

Complications associated with ‘flu’ are

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma flare-ups
  • Heart problems
  • Ear infections

Treatment

People with the flu are advised to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, avoid using alcohol and tobacco

Medication

  • Acetaminophen
  • Avoid taking aspirin because it leads to other complications

Antivirals

  • The two classes of antiviral drugs used against influenza are neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) and M2 protein inhibitors (adamantane derivatives).

Oseltamivir is an oral medication. Zanamivir is inhaled through a device similar to an asthma inhaler and shouldn’t be used by anyone with respiratory problems, such as asthma and lung disease.

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