Influenza

By Samantha McPherson

Introduction

Many people have had Influenza (more commonly known as the flu) and do not believe it is a fatal disease. Influenza was very deadly ans still is. The flu is a big deal, so why are you treating it like a little cold?

Definition

An acute, commonly epidemic disease, occurring in several forms, caused by numerous rapidly mutating viral strains and characterized by respiratory symptoms and general prostration.

How Serious is the Flu?

The flu can be unpredictable and may vary from one season. Some things that factor into how serious the flu is are: What viruses are spreading,how much vaccine is available,how many people get vaccinated, and how well the vaccine matches with the virus.

Complications of the Flu

Complications or side affects of Influenza are: bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infection, dehydration,worsening of chronic medical disease like congested heart failure.

Contagious

Yes the flu is contagious. It can infect people 1 day before symptoms start and 5-7 days after being sick. It is possible that you can infect people before you know you are sick. Some lucky people get the flu but have no symptoms. You can spread the flu to others within 6 feet of you. It is mostly spread by sneezing coughing or just talking. All those things can land on your mouth or nose where they can be inhaled into the lungs.

Symptoms

So one day you might feel sick, but how do you know you have the flu? Well you might have the flu if you experience one of these: fever over 100F, Muscles ache, Chills and sweats, Headache, Dry cough, Weakness or Fatigue and Nasal Congestion.

Prevention

How do you prevent getting the flu? well one way is to simply stay at home when you are sick. Another way is avoiding close contact with people. Make sure to wash you hands and cover your mouth if you are sick or if you think you might be sick.

Treatment

Can the Flu be treated? Yes it can with certain antiviral drugs like Tamiflu. Drugs like these can not be sold over the counter. You must have a prescription . Here is a commercial of the Tamiflu "Small House".

Benefits and side afffects of treatment

Why should i get antivirals? Well antivirals can lessen symptoms up to 1-2 days. They can also prevent serious complications and can prevent you from having a hospital visit.

Some disadvantages of antivirals are the side affects. Some side affects include: Nausea,vomiting,dizziness,runny/stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea and headache.

The Pandemic of 1918

The Beginning

The Flu Pandemic started with American Soldiers. The outbreaks started wherever soldiers were. Pneumonia was starting to occur with Flu outbreaks. 48 people died from a flu-induced pneumonia. With soldiers always being crammed together they were the perfect target. After the war ended all of the sick soldiers went back to their families in small towns where the flu would spread like wild-fire.

The Philadelphia Outbreak.

In Philadelphia the flu had been passed around but wasn't a huge deal. Health Officials tried to spread awareness but they didn't have enough knowledge. Philadelphia had a War Bond on September 28 drawing a crowd of nearly 4000. After that the flu spread like wild-fire. They closed all schools,churches, saloons and theaters. There was dead bodies upon dead bodies piled on top of each other. By the end of October the Pandemic was over.

The San Francisco Outbreak

Soon after the Philadelphia flu outbreak San Francisco had a flu of their own. It started when 10000 people came down to see a review of the National Guard Infantry. Including some sick soldiers. On October 14 almost 1000 flu cases had been reported. The next week all schools, churches, and theaters were closed and 4000 cases had been reported. On October 26, officials of San Francisco decided to have masks distributed around the city. 100000 mask were given out around the city that day.

By November most people believed the epidemic was over. On the 21 all masks were removed. On January 17 the masks were required to be worn again. By the beginning of February the masks were removed for good.

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