Battling the Flu!

The flu or influenza is a virus of the Orthomyxoviridae family. The influenza virus has been a major health issue for thousands of year. The 1918 influenza pandemic is called ”The Mother of all Pandemic”. Its is estimated to a killed nearly 50 million people worldwide. But that is not the only influenza pandemic there are many. There is also the threat of Avian influenza viruses as emerging threat to humans. The avian influenza viruses are basically the flu virus of the birds. But they are seen to infect humans, and are yet to achieve human to human transmissiblity.

Years Name Subtype No. of individuals affected
1918 – 1919 Spanish Flu H1N1 ~40 million
1957 – 1958 Asian Flu H2N2 ~2 million
1968 Hong Kong Flu H3N2 ~80,000
1977 Russian Flu H1N1

Prevention strategies :

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from getting infected. Especially children and older people are required to take it. The influenza vaccine is needed to be taken every year. Make sure you take the antivirals prescribed by your physician without fail.

Spread:

The viruses is said to spread mainly by droplets, Especially when a sick person cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets are then inhaled in by the persons closer by and they get infected. They can also be transmitted by objects having virus from the sick person.

Adults who are infected can spread the virus 1 day before the start of symptoms and carry till 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may spread the influenza virus more than 7 days.

CDC Flu Facts

Seasonal Influenza:

Seasonal influenza viruses circulate and cause disease in humans every year. spreading from person-to person through sneezing, coughing, or touching contaminated surfaces. Seasonal influenza viruses can cause mild to severe illness and even death, particularly in some high-risk individuals.  Seasonal influenza viruses evolve continuously, which means that people can get infected multiple times throughout their lives.  Persons at increased risk for severe disease include pregnant women, the very young and very old, immune-compromised people, and people with chronic underlying medical conditions.  This seasonal A(H1N1) virus is the same virus that caused the 2009 influenza pandemic, as it is now circulating seasonally.

Pandemic Influenza:

A pandemic occurs when an influenza virus which was not previously circulating among humans and to which most people don’t have immunity emerges and transmits among humans. As the majority of the population has no immunity to these viruses, the proportion of persons in a population getting infected may be quite large.

Influenza A(H1N1) 2009:

On 11 June 2009, the World Health Organization raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6, declaring the beginning of the influenza A(H1N1) 2009 pandemic. The H1N1 pandemic was characterized by the emergence of a new influenza virus to which many people had no pre-existing immunity.

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Source: http://www.who.int/flunet

Vaccines:

  1. Agripal:  Agripal vaccine leaflet
  2. Fluarix: Fluarix quadravalent vaccine insert
  3. Influgen: Details of Influgen vaccine.
  4. Influvac:  Influvac Injection leaflet
  5. Nasovac: Serum Institute Of India
  6. Vaxigrip: Consumer medicine information.

Reference:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/resource-center/toolkit/index.htm#blogathon
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm
  4. http://www.medindia.net/drug-price/influenza-virus-vaccine-combination.htm
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccines.htm
  6. http://www.who.int/influenza/patient_care/en/

 

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