introduction. Influenza viruses are the only members of the orthomyxovirus family. The orthomyxoviruses differ from the paramyxoviruses primarily in that the former have a segmented RNA genome (usually eight pieces), whereas the RNA genome of the latter consists of a single piece.
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Seasonal risk areas for influenza: November–April (blue), April–November (red), and year-round (yellow).
Influenza reaches peak prevalence in winter:Northern and Southern Hemispheres have winter at different times of the year, there are actually two different flu seasons each year.
In addition cold temperatures lead to drier air, which may dehydrate mucus, preventing the body from effectively expelling virus particles.
The morbidity is Typically between three and five million cases of severe illness per hemisphere and up to 500,000 deaths worldwide.
The disease is usually most severe in very young children (under 5 years of age):lack antibodies to the influenza virus because of no prior exposure.
In addition, the small diameter of components of the respiratory tract in the very young also means that inflammation and swelling can lead to blockage of parts of respiratory tract, sinus system or Eustachian tubes.
1. Uncomplicated influenza
Generally, anti-viral drugs work optimally when taken within a few days of the onset of symptoms.
Certain drugs are used in uninfected individuals to guard against infection.
Four influenza antiviral agents are available : amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir and oseltamivi
These drugs fall into categories as either M2-inhibitors (admantane derivatives) or neuraminidase inhibitors as illustrated in the following table.
are also used for the treatment and prevention of influenza. that act by inhibiting the release of virus from infected cells. This limits the infection by reducing the spread of virus from one cell to another. These drugs are effective against both influenza A and B viruses in contrast to amantadine, which is effective only against influenza A viruses.
covering coughs and sneezes
avoiding close contact with sick people
According to the WHO, you can decrease your chance of contracting the flu virus by taking the following steps: