INFLUENZA A virus called an Orthomyxovirus causes influenza. Often called flu, sometimes-even grippe. It is a very contagious disease, and it infects many parts of our bodies. This also includes are lungs. A person can get influenza if someone coughs, sneezes, or even talks around you while they are infected. Influenza is sometimes considered serious in some cases but can be prevented and treated.

When you get the "flu" in the lungs, the lining of the respiratory tract is damaged by becoming swollen and inflamed. But the damage is not always permanent, and tissue heals within a couple of weeks. It is a respiratory disease, even though it infects the whole body. The victims's ymptoms usually are fever, chills, weakness, loss of appetite and body, head, back, arm, and leg ache. If you have the disease you may also suffer sore throat, a dry cough, nausea, and burning red eyes.

Usually the victim will have nasal congestion and mucus discharge. The fever can reach to about 104 F but it only lasts about 2-3 days then it recedes. Occasionally in more severe cases there will also be gastrointestinal upset. In short, after all these horrible symptoms the patient still feels exhausted a series of days after the flu is gone. Healthy people have nothing to worry about really when it comes to influenza.

It is a moderately severe illness and people are usually back on their feet after a week or so. That is not the case for people that are at high risk. People at high risk receive a greater impact from the disease, like complications. Some complications these people at high-risk face are sinus and inner ear inflammation as well bacterial pneumonia (yeah, and I'm sure that sounds real pleasant).

Unfortunately, most complications end with bacterial infections. In the end if you don't get treated influenza can be severe and fatal. People that are at a high risk are ones that have chronic lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, or cystic fibrosis. You are also at high risk if you have heart disease, chronic kidney disease or metabolic disorder. Diabetes, severe anemia, and people who have diseases or having treatments like chemotherapy, which depress immunity. Disease and disorders are not the only reason you can be at risk.

If you reside in a nursing home or are over the age of 65 you are as well at risk. Finally, health care providers should get immunized to protect high-risk patients. Anyone can get influenza, especially when an epidemic sweeps through a community. In 1994 over 90 million cases of influenza was reported, not counting the ones that weren't reported. People who know that they " re at high risk should be immunized. In 1941 it was discovered that influenza can be prevented and treated with a vaccine or shot.

The vaccine is made each year so that the vaccine can contain the virus that is expected that year. There are influenza viruses in the vaccine that is not active so that someone vaccinated cannot get the virus from the vaccine. For 1 to 2 months after vaccination the amount of antibodies in the body are the greatest and then gradually declines, because of this and because the influenza virus mutates and changes each year one should be vaccinated, especially those who are at high risk. Health specialists urge you to get vaccinated each fall with the new vaccine. If it wasn't for the U. S disease control in 1984 who revised the earlier vaccination for only people who are susceptible to developing pneumonia, people like you wouldn't be able to get vaccinated.

With the first signs of influenza you should see your doctor. There is a new fast care test given in the doctor's office that can diagnose all strains of influenza. With an easy, prompt diagnosis your physician will be able to treat his patients with antiviral medications like amantadine and rimantadine, instead of antibiotics which are powerless against viruses. In some years more people get influenza that others.

This is because every ten years or so one influenza virus strain gets out and it is extremely different from the other members of its family. Unfortunately, a worldwide epidemic occurs called a pandemic because few people have the antibodies that can destroy the new mutant virus. In 1918 a pandemic caused by influenza occurred. It swept over the entire globe and we were left with more than 20 million deaths.

Not to mention the 500, 000 whom died afterward of bacterial pneumonia. Today massive vaccination programs continue today to prevent an epidemic of that magnitude from taking over and causing illness and death from influenza. There are three types of influenza; A, B, C. They were isolated in the years 1933, 1940, and 1950. Unfortunately, the first two are responsible for epidemics. It has been seen that the influenza virus comes and goes in cycles.

Like the virus which appeared in the 1978-79 flu season was the same one which appeared like the virus which was widespread in the early 1950's. This same theory influences that the flu of 1918, called the swine flu, may occur again. Evidence shows that viruses 60-70 years apart are the same. However, the swine flu has been isolated and vaccine against it was made in masses to be carried out by the U. S immediately if the virus ever appears. It is our job as human beings to stay informed and healthy as well as to inform and help others in the event that a large epidemic of influenza does effect us as a whole..