flu


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flu

 [floo]
popular name for influenza.
intestinal flu see intestinal flu.

in·flu·en·za

(in'flū-en'ză), The colloquial word flu is often loosely applied to any acute viral syndrome, including gastroenteritis ("intestinal flu"). Influenza, however, is a specific respiratory infection with a well-defined cause, and gastrointestinal symptoms seldom occur.
An acute infectious respiratory disease, caused by Influenza viruses, which are in the family Orthomyxoviridae, in which the inhaled virus attacks the respiratory epithelial cells of those susceptible and produces a catarrhal inflammation; characterized by sudden onset, chills, fever of short duration (3-4 days), severe prostration, headache, muscle aches, and a cough that usually is dry and may be followed by secondary bacterial infections that can last up to 10 days. The disease commonly occurs in epidemics, sometimes in pandemics, which develop quickly and spread rapidly; the mortality rate is usually low, but may rise in patients with secondary bacterial pneumonia, particularly in old people and those with underlying debilitating diseases; strain-specific immunity develops, but mutations in the virus are frequent, and such immunity usually does not affect antigenically different strains.
Synonym(s): flu, grippe
[It. influence (of planets or stars), fr. L. influentia, fr. in-fluo, to flow in]

Influenza viruses are divided on the basis of antigenic structure into three types. Influenza A virus is principally responsible for epidemics; subtypes of influenza A virus affect birds, horses, and swine as well as human beings. Incidence of influenza B is lower and epidemics are less likely to occur with this virus, for which animal reservoirs are apparently of little importance. Influenza C infection is typically mild or subclinical. The annual mortality of influenza in the U.S. is believed to exceed 50,000, more than 90% of these deaths occurring in people 65 years of age or older. Influenza deaths have increased substantially in the past 20 years, in part because of the aging of the population. At least 30 pandemics of influenza have occurred since 1580. The influenza A pandemic of 1918-1920 ("Spanish flu") caused more than 20 million deaths worldwide, 500,000 of them in the U.S. Less devastating pandemics occurred in 1957 ("Asian flu") and 1968 ("Hong Kong flu"). Influenza is highly contagious. The virus is transmitted from person to person by direct contact and by airborne droplets of respiratory secretion expelled through coughing and sneezing. Incidence is highest in late fall, winter, and early spring. Active immunization with noninfective vaccines containing hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) antigens of currently prevalent strains has reduced the extent and severity of epidemics and has provided protection to vulnerable populations such as the elderly. Vaccines are especially recommended for people older than 50 and those with certain chronic conditions, including diabetes mellitus, immune deficiency, impairment of renal function, and cardiac and pulmonary disease. Immunity arising from either natural infection or vaccination confers protection only against certain strains of virus. Antigenic drift results from the gradual accumulation of new epitopes on viral H and N molecules, whereas antigenic shifts are caused by mutations in the genes that encode these molecules. A new strain probably emerges as a human pathogen when that strain is transmitted to human beings from animal hosts. Influenza cannot be diagnosed with certainty or differentiated from other acute febrile syndromes on clinical evidence alone. Diagnosis can only be confirmed by detection of viral antigen in nasal secretions by direct immunofluorescence or by a rising titer of antibody to influenzal hemagglutinin. The antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine (effective only against influenza A) and the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir can prevent clinical illness when taken prophylactically during an outbreak or epidemic and can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms (average reduction in duration with all agents, one day) when administered within 24-48 hours after the onset of illness. An international network for influenza surveillance was established by the World Health Organization in 1948. Now consisting of 110 centers in 83 countries, the network monitors influenza activity worldwide, facilitates rapid identification of viral strains, and provides information used in determining the composition of influenza vaccines.

flu

(flo͞o)
n.
1. Influenza.
2. Any of several infections that affect the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract and are caused by viruses other than the influenza virus.

flu

Influenza, see there. See China flu, Hong Kong flu.

in·flu·en·za

(inflū-enză)
An acute infectious respiratory disease, caused by influenza viruses; attacks the respiratory epithelial cells and produces a catarrhal inflammation; characterized by sudden onset, chills, fever of short duration, severe prostration, headache, muscle aches, and a cough that usually is dry until secondary infection occurs. The disease commonly occurs in epidemics, sometimes in pandemics; strain-specific immunity develops, but mutations in the virus are frequent, and the immunity usually does not protect against antigenically different strains.
Synonym(s): flu, grip, grippe.
[It. influence (of planets or stars), fr. L. influentia, fr. in-fluo, to flow in]

flu

See INFLUENZA.

in·flu·en·za

(inflū-enză)
An acute infectious respiratory disease, caused by influenza viruses, in which inhaled virus attacks respiratory epithelial cells of susceptible people and produces a catarrhal inflammation; characterized by sudden onset, chills, and other symptoms.
Synonym(s): flu, grippe.
[It. influence (of planets or stars), fr. L. influentia, fr. in-fluo, to flow in]

Patient discussion about flu

Q. INFLUENZA(FLU) is it a fatal disease?

A. depends. as you may already know- the flu virus changes every year (this is why the vaccine is only good for a year)a little bit. but every now and then (about every 80 years) the change is really big and most people are not vaccinated at all. then it reeks havoc in the world. last time it happened called the "spanish flu",they say 25,000,000 people died the first 25 weeks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

Q. How flu is passing? I have too small children, and in the class of the older one there’s an outbreak of flu with many sick children. The last time my little son had the flu was like a hell for him, and I really won’t to prevent it. What can I do?

A. The virus (the creature that cause flu is spread in secretions from the nose, mouth etc, and children may be infective even days before they actually have visible disease.
However, simple measures, such as covering the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and washing hands thoroughly may minimize the transmission of the flu from child to child.

Q. Who Should Receive the Flu Vaccine? Should I go get vaccinated for the flu? I have been told it is advised only for certain people, so who should receive this vaccine?

A. before you would like to go on with any vaccination, you should check out this very long list of links and create your own opinion:

http://www.aegis.ch/neu/links.html

at the bottom you will also find links in english. vaccinations in general are very disputable/dubious and it is probably time that we learn about it.

More discussions about flu
References in periodicals archive ?
Older adults are among the groups hardest hit by flu: those age 84 and older have the highest risk of dying from flu-related complications such as pneumonia, and those age 74 and older come in second.
The fun desktop challenge is a timely reminder that: You can still be a carrier of flu even if you have no symptoms The vaccine is effective and safe and will not give you flu The flu vaccine reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those most at risk.
Antiviral agents such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), and peramivir (Rapivab) are now also increasingly being used for flu, especially for people who are at high risk for complications.
In view of a possible flu outbreak, the DOH said the following steps could be undertaken to strengthen one's immune system:
It must be recalled that a never-before-seen strain of AH1N1 flu virus turned killer in Mexico and the United States, and caused some panic in other parts of the world.
"I don't need a flu shot every year": Yes, you probably do -- for two reasons.
Contrary to popular belief, even vaccines that may not exactly match the current flu strain help to prevent severe symptoms, hospitalization and possible death.
Public Health England head of flu Dr Richard Pebody says: "Flu can be extremely serious and can kill the most vulnerable.
The flu, short for influenza, is an infection that targets one's respiratory system.
It also emerged, despite the fact that 70 per cent of Brits surveyed via OnePoll.com had experienced flu, 53 per cent will not get the flu jab this year.
The Flu Forecasting Station produces visualized flu activity models based on the data pulled from the Taiwan CDC's flu surveillance system, the National Health Insurance database, and the weather and population distribution data provided by the government, Taiwan CDC said.