Influenza (Flu)

by: Chase Panno

Symptoms

  • feverish chills
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • muscle pains
  • headaches
  • tiredness

Causes of Influenza

Since Influenza is contagious it travels from person to person through the air in droplets. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, influenza is spread. You can either inhale the droplets or you can put these germs on your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hand.

Immune Cells That Help Fight Infection (Immune Response)

  • macrophages
  • neutrophils
  • natural killer cells
  • eosinophils
  • basophils
  • mast cells

How It Replicates?

Epithelial cells in the upper and lower respiratory system are influenza's primary target. Influenza enters the host cell by binding to the sialic acid on the cell. Once it has entered the cell it goes into an endosome. From there it enters the nucleus where it replicates its RNA and then reassembles. Once it has reassembled, it exits the host cell.

Treatment

Influenza can be treated with an antiviral drug which could be in the form of a pill, liquid, inhaled powder, or intravenous solution. Oseltamivir, zanamivir, or peramivir are the main antiviral drugs that you can take. These antiviral drugs help decrease the ability for the influenza to reproduce and spread. Antiviral drugs are usually pre-made antibodies which cost more than vaccines. This is because in vaccines your body is given an antigen so your body then makes the antibody.

Prevention

You can prevent yourself from getting the flu virus by getting vaccines. Vaccines usually take about 2 weeks to start producing an antibody. There are many different types of flu shots you can receive. There are many types of flu shots which are categorized by the patient's age, what they are allergic to, and the cost of the vaccine. The proper type of the flu vaccine is determined by the patient's physician.

Below is a Photomicrograph of Influenza

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