The flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system and is easily spread. Winter seasonal epidemics usually occur every year, and there is a pandemic in the world every 20 or 30 years, accompanied by a high rate of morbidity and mortality. During the last two centuries there have been six flu pandemics: 1900 and 1918 (Spanish flu), 1957 (Asian flu), 1968 (Hong Kong flu), 1977 (Russian flu) and 2009 (Influenza A). The pandemic of 1918 caused more deaths worldwide than all others combined -; about 30 million victims. If you think you have the flu, you should seek the help of Professional Doctors in Maui.
There are three types of influenza viruses that cause problems (A, B and C). The A and B viruses belong to the genus Influenza virus. The B and C virus primarily affects men. The A virus has been isolated from duck populations, humans, pigs, horses and marine mammals, and is the most aggressive of the three genera and is responsible for pandemics. The influenza virus tends to change continuously, either by mutations or genetic rearrangement; thus preventing acquired immunity. The virus has changed several times over the last 100 years. Birds are probably the origin of new genes introduced into the pandemics of the last century. During the 1990s, a deadly strain of avian flu (H5N1) caused dozens of deaths in Asia. In 2009, the H1N1 appeared.
The influenza virus initially binds to mucosal cells of the upper respiratory tract (mucus-secreting cells, hair cells and epithelial cells) and destroys them, thereby eliminating the first defense system, and then can reach the lower respiratory tract causing severe desquamation of bronchial or alveolar epithelium. Besides affecting the natural defenses of the respiratory tract, the flu facilitates adhesion of bacteria to epithelial cells, resulting in a secondary bacterial infection, which can be life-threatening (pneumonia). Seeking the help of Professional Doctors in Maui is a must at this point.
There are three mechanisms of transmission of influenza viruses:
- By direct contact with diseased or contaminated material.
- By respiratory droplets released when coughing or sneezing.
- Or, less commonly, by air.
The propagation of the influenza virus has the ability to transmit, beginning one day before the onset of symptoms and ending 5-7 days after when the symptoms resolved. Thus, the flu spreads very quickly and is very difficult to control. Contact your local doctor to learn more.
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