Different Virus Types and Symptoms of Influenza
Influenza or flu is an extremely contagious condition. It is easily spread because infected people go around without knowing about their condition. Influenza infections show symptoms after almost a week, so there's no way of knowing you are infected.
Introduction of influenza
Influenza viruses spread in tiny droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. They usually spread from person to person. It can also spread if a person accidentally touches something that is infected by the virus and then touches his mouth or nose. Infections can spread from the first day a person gets infected till up to the fifth day of becoming sick. People over the age of 65 years and children under the age of 5 years are at risk of severe illnesses because of influenza. Millions of Americans fall prey to influenza viruses each year, and the most number of people fall sick from November to April, which is the flu season in America.
What are the different basic types of flu virus?
The influenza virus can be divided into 3 categories: A, B, and C. Influenza A virus, the most serious, appears every 2 or 3 years. This virus is prone to regular mutations and produces new strains for which people have little resistance, and is responsible for many epidemics and pandemics worldwide. Swine flu and bird flu are the subtypes of this flu virus. These mutations occur due to the certain proteins on the surface of the influenza A virus. HA or hemagglutinin and NA or neuraminidase are the two proteins that make the virus thrive in the body. There are 16 known HA and 9 known NA, each representing a different subtype. Swine flu and bird flu viruses spread from the pigs and birds if a human comes in direct exposure with them. This leads to multiple human infections and results in epidemic. Avian influenza or bird flu caused a lot of fatalities worldwide and had spread to pandemic proportions.
Influenza B virus is relatively less dangerous and this strain is responsible for smaller outbreaks of the infection. If you are infected with type B once, then your immune system will resist this type of virus for many coming years. Influenza B is common among children aged 5 to 14 who have never been infected before.
Type C virus is a very mild strain of influenza. The symptoms of type C are similar to symptoms of a common cold. Lots of rest and water are normally enough to treat this kind of virus. Your doctors can prescribe antiviral medications to you to fight this virus if your immune system is weak.
Symptoms of influenza
Some people confuse the influenza symptoms with common cold because of their close proximity. However, the influenza symptoms become worse after some time and you may experience the following problems:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- High fever
- Dry cough
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
These influenza symptoms may last from 7 to 14 days. High fever and body aches may go away after some time, but a sore throat, runny nose and coughing can persists for some time. Sometimes, fever may recur for some time. Rest regularly to prevent prolonging sickness.