Influenza, which is known as the Flu, originated as a bird virus. It is a particular virus in birds. Sometimes it kills them, and sometimes it has no effect. Typically, it has to infect domestic birds like chickens, and then mammals like pigs before it is capable of human infection.
Flu virus is fully dependent on its host. It survives and thrives by invading cells, and by reproducing inside them. Without cells to infect, it would die.
In 1918-1919, a deadly influenza pandemic emerged during the final stages of World War I. It was targeting the young and the healthy in the age group between 25-34. During this pandemic, which happened during the war, a quarter of a million American soldiers were sent abroad each month. There were already casualties due to influenza, not due to front firing line of the war.
There was a belief that the American troops introduced the epidemic in the Hindenburg line, and then the Germans contracted the virus and brought it back to the homeland. There was a report that 500 were killed per week due to influenza during this period.
The second wave came back shortly. This time it had the name Spanish Flu, from the large mortalities in Spain where it allegedly killed 8 million. This time it resulted in cyanosis in most of the dead. During the pandemic an estimated almost 700,000 Americans died of this influenza.
How prevalent is Influenza in Arizona and in the U.S.?
This year’s reports of influenza outbreaks are highest in the following states: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Flu seasons vary from one year to the next and so does their severity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from about 3,000 to 40,000-plus people.
Symptoms you may experience when being attacked by an influenza virus are chill, fever or feeling feverish, body aches, sore throat, fatigue, and dry cough. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, but this seems more common in children than in adults. Symptoms of a cold are very similar to the flu, whilst colds generally do not result in serious health problem like infections or pneumonia. You need to distinguish between the two so you can get the right treatment.
Treatments and Preventions
You should take steps to avoid the flu by practicing good hygiene and eating healthily to keep your immune systems strong. The important thing is to get a flu vaccine every year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention there are several flu vaccine options for the 2013-2014 flu season:
Traditional flu vaccines made to protect against three different flu viruses (called “trivalent” vaccines) are available. In addition, this season flu vaccines made to protect against four different flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines) also are available.
The trivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. The following trivalent flu vaccines are available:
Standard dose trivalent shots that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. These are approved for people ages 6 months and older. There are different brands of this type of vaccine, and each is approved for different ages. However, there is a brand that is approved for children as young as 6 months old and up.
A standard dose trivalent shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is