Influenza

The Flu Virus

Symptoms

The flu virus is a well known contagous respatory illness that can fluctuate in severity from person to person. Symtoms of the flu ussually include:


- Fever or feverish chills

- Cough

- Sore Throat

- Runny or Stuffy Nose

- Headaches

- Fatigue

- Muscle or body aches

- And sometimes (ussually in children) vomiting and diarrhea

Causes

This virus is spread person to person. This virus is spread through the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, etc. The virus spreads through the liquid molecules a person emitts when he or she sneezes or coughs and enters through the mouth, nose, or eyes.

Reproduction

The virus injects its genetic material into a cell, hijacks the cell's RNA, creating the protiens and enzymes needed to reproduce itself. After it has reproduced itself hundreds of times, the cell ruptures, spreading the virus to other cells, but the new viruses do not fully mature until they leave the cell or later as they float around in extracellular fluid.Large numbers of the virus are produced even before widespread destruction of the cells of the respiratory tract. Thus, the infected individual can spread the virus even before he actually feels sick. Typically, the infected person can spread the infection from one day before, to five to seven days after the onset of symptoms.

The Influenza virus reproduces via the lysogenic cycle in some cases then the lytric cycle is triggered.

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Immune Response

The influenza virus creates chemokines in the area of the infection. These chemokines attract immune cells to the site, including macrophages, neutrophils and natural killer cells. These in turn produce additional cytokines, chemokines and other antiviral proteins. This process activates a number of immune cells, including those of the adaptive immune response.
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Prevention and Treatment

To prevent spreading the virus, stay home when you are sick, or have had the flu a few days before.

To prevent gettting the virus, go to the local pharmacy or your doctor to get a vaccine, wash your hands regularly, and linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first.


If you are infected, your doctor might perscribe to you an antibiotic or antiviral medication that will help fight the infection, and may help calm the symtoms. Rest and drinking fluids are essential in helping your body fight the infection. To treat the symptoms, you might want to take medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.