Influenza is an infectious disease caused by an attack of a specific type of virus of the Orthomyxoviridae Family virus , which includes half a dozen kinds of viruses. In humans, flu symptoms can include a runny nose, high body temperature (fever), a persistent cough, headache, and a general feeling of weakness or soreness. At the moment, most influenza attacks are treatable in those communities that have basic access to modern primary health care. Attacks generally last less than a week, although symptoms can lead to various types of life-threatening complications, including viral and bacterial pneumonia, asthma and even heart failure.
The virus is transmitted through the air, being exposed to the external environment through the transport of particles from the infected person through coughing or sneezing. Propagation can also occur by physically touching an infected surface, such as touching a person’s body or objects. Some lodgings can also be spread among different human and animal species.
Globally, influenza has spread more rapidly in the event of an explosion in the midst of seasonal epidemics. In temperate regions and in the upper tropics, these epidemics typically occur in winter, with proportionately higher rates of infection in the event of higher humidity in the atmosphere. Closer to the equator, outbreaks can occur at any time of the year. There, the epidemics are more connected with the humidity level than with the temperature. Every year, 3 to 5 million people are severely infected with the flu worldwide and death estimates vary between 250,000 and 500,000 cases per year. The calculation of mortality by flu is complicated, as flu infections occur as a result of various other types of complications.
Previously, global outbreaks of influenza have occurred that have been defined as “pandemics” of the disease. The 1918 flu pandemic of the H1N1 flu strain, which was defined as “Spanish flu”, actually swept many parts of the world and killed between 50 and 100 million people. The extension reached virtually all the inhabited corners of the earth, anywhere from European population centers to some of the most remote islands in the Pacific.
Flu attacks are generally treated with antiviral drugs containing neuraminidase inhibitors and M2 protein inhibitors. However, since influenza is a common disorder that occurs in all age groups and in all regions, patients are generally advised to rest, to avoid going out and to continue to consume alcohol and tobacco products, that could make the situation worse. Paracetamol-based drugs are widely used as common drugs in case of mild attacks. Recently a virulent spot of influenza virus emerged, classified as H5N1 variety, which in the media has become popularly known as “avian flu” or “avian flu”. For this particular strain that caused a recent outbreak, the drugs are now still in the research and development phases. Indeed, paracetamol is not considered effective in treating H5N1 infection. The drug Oseltamivir is generally used in its treatment, although large-scale efficacy studies have yet to confirm the usefulness of this drug, although in preliminary studies it has been observed that it inhibits infections within patients’ bodies.