Influenza A is an infectious viral infection that attacks the respiratory system. This infection can even be a serious, life-threatening condition. Know-How Long is Influenza A Contagious? And What is Influenza A? and the symptoms are the following.
Is influenza an infectious disease?
Influenza is a viral infection that attacks our body, such as the nose, throat and lungs. That can spread quickly in the community. Although mild, the disease remains dangerous for very young people and adults with limited cardiopulmonary function.
Additionally, older patients with chronic kidney disease or endocrine metabolic illnesses could die from this benign disease. The attack of the disease is recorded highest in winter in cold countries and during the rainy season in tropical countries.
At this time it is known that in general the world is hit by a pandemic by influenza once every 2-3 years. The number of deaths in this pandemic can reach tens of thousands of people and is much higher than the figures on non-epidemic circumstances.
What is the mortality rate caused by influenza?
The risk of complications, pain, and death of influenza is higher in individuals over 65 years of age, young children, and individuals with certain diseases. In children aged 0-4 years, the high risk of complications of morbidity is 500/100,000 and the not high risk is 100/100,000 population.
In the influenza epidemic from 1969 to 1970 to 1994-1995, the estimated number of influenza patients admitted to the hospital was 16,000 to 220,000/epidemic. Influenza deaths can occur due to pneumonia as well as cardiopulmonary exacerbations as well as other chronic diseases.
American studies of 19 seasons of Influenza estimated influenza-related deaths of about 30 to over 150 deaths/ 100,000 individuals with age of 65. More than 90 percent of deaths caused By influenza and pneumonia occur in older men and women.
In Indonesia, bird flu cases have been found in humans, thus Indonesia is the fifth country in Asia after Hongkong, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to develop bird flu in humans.
As of August 5, 2005, who reported 112 cases of A (H5N1) in humans that were proven by microbiological examination in the form of breeding or PCR. Most cases were from Vietnam, followed by Thailand, Cambodia, and finally Indonesia.
Until August 2005, already millions of livestock died from avian influenza. There have been thousands of contacts between farm officials and poultry affected by the outbreak. It turns out that confirmed cases of avian influenza in humans are only slightly above 100.
Thus, although it is proven that there is a transmission from poultry to humans, this process does not happen easily. Moreover, inter-human transmission, the probability of occurrence is even smaller.
What are the common symptoms of influenza?
- Shortness of breath with or without nasal obstruction
- Itchy throat
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
Within 4-10 days the symptoms of influenza usually disappear. However, coughing with or without phlegm often lasts until the second week.
If you experience any of the following symptoms see a doctor immediately:
- High fever 39.4°C
- Fever is accompanied by excessive sweating, chills, cough with thick phlegm, and yellow, greenish, or accompanied by blood
- Pain or swelling of the area around the neck
- Pain in the sinus area
What are the causes of Influenza?
The cause of influenza is a virus. There are at least 100 types of viruses that can cause influenza. But among the many types of such viruses, the most frequent are influenza viruses. The virus is highly contagious.
Influenza-causing viruses are easily transmitted through saliva that is coughed or sneezed by sufferers. In addition, hands or other objects contaminated with the virus can also be a medium of transmission of the virus.
Currently known 3 types of influenza viruses namely A, B, and C
These three types can be distinguished by the complement fixation test.
- Type A is an epidemic influenza-causing virus.
- Type B usually only causes diseases that are milder than type A and sometimes cause epidemics.
- Type C is a type that is doubtful of pathogenicity for humans, possibly causing only minor disturbances.
Influenza-causing viruses are an orthopoxvirus of the RNA group and by name, it is clear that this virus has an affinity for myxo or season.
What is influenza A?
Influenza A is an infectious viral infection that attacks the respiratory system. There are three main groups of influenza viruses, namely A, B, and C. Especially for influenza A virus infections, this condition can be dangerous and contagious to many people.
In mild cases, the disease can heal on its own without any significant symptoms. But in some cases of severe influenza A, the condition can be life-threatening.
On symptoms that appear when infected with the influenza type A virus can be mistaken for various other disease conditions. Therefore, it is worth studying the ins and outs of the causes, symptoms, and how to treat this type of influenza.
Before we continue I have one piece of information about Pneumonia Symptoms for Seniors, Adults, and Baby, this will explain the medicine to prevent the disease.
Is influenza A different?
True, influenza A viruses are distinguished into many subtypes based on signs of protein protrusions on the surface of viral cells. There are 2 proteins signifying influenza A virus that is hemagglutinin protein symbolized by H and neuraminidase protein symbolized by N.
There are 15 kinds of proteins H, H1 to H15, while N consists of nine kinds, N1 to N9. The combination of these two proteins can produce many variants of subtypes of influenza virus type A.
All subtypes of influenza A virus can infect poultry which is its natural host, so influenza type A virus is also referred to as avian influenza or bird flu. Some influenza A viruses also attack humans, dogs, horses, and pigs.
Variations of the virus are often named after affected animals, such as bird flu, human flu, swine flu, horse flu, and dog flu. Subtypes commonly found in humans are from the groups H1, H2, H3, and N1, N2 and are called human influenza.
Nowadays it is horrendous with avian influenza or avian influenza where the cause is virus influenza type A subtype H5N1.
What is the Nature of Influenza Virus?
Influenza viruses have properties that can survive in water for up to 4 days at 220C and more than 30 days at 00C. Die at 600C heating for 30 minutes or 560C for 3 hours and warm up 800C for 1 hour. The virus will die with detergents, disinfectants e.g. formaldehyde, liquids containing iodine, and alcohol 70%.
The antigenic structure of influenza viruses includes, among others, 3 main parts in the form of antigen S (or soluble antigen), hemaglutinin, and neuraminidase. Antigen S is a nucleus of viral particles consisting of ribonucleoprotein.
These antigens are specific to each type. Hemaglutinin protrudes out of the viral sheath and plays a role in immunity to the virus. Neuraminidase also protrudes out of the viral sheath and plays only a minimal role of 8 on immunity. The viral nucleus is layered with an inner protein matrix and a fat membrane on the outside.
One important feature of influenza viruses is their ability to change their surface antigens (H and N) either quickly or suddenly or slowly. The occurrence of major changes in surface antigen structures that occur briefly is called antigenic shift.
When surface antigen changes occur only slightly, it is called antigenic drift. Antigenic shift only occurs in the influenza A virus and antigenic drift only occurs in influenza B virus, while influenza C virus is relatively stable.
The theory underlying the occurrence of antigenic shifts is the reordering of genes in H and N between human and avian influenza viruses through the intermediary of the third host. One thing to note is that the presence of antigenic shift process will allow the formation of more malignant viruses, so this condition causes severe systemic infections because the host’s immune system both cellular and humoral has not yet been formed.
Since long ago it was suspected that the condition facilitates the occurrence of antigenic shifts in the presence of residents who live near poultry and pig farming areas. Because pigs are susceptible to infection by both avian and human viruses eating the animal can act as a mixing ground for the reorganization of genes derived from both viruses, thus causing the formation of a new viral subtype.
How long can influenza be contagious?
The most vulnerable way of transmitting the flu virus occurs during the incubation phase, which is the time between you first being exposed to the virus until the symptoms appear. The incubation phase generally occurs about 24 hours – 7 days after the first contact with the virus. This means that you can get infected and experience the symptoms at any time within that incubation period.
Adults can transmit the influenza virus to others within 5-10 days after they feel symptoms. So, if you start experiencing influenza symptoms on the third day of the incubation period, you can already transmit the virus to others up to 10 days later.
Thereafter, the severity of flu transmission will decrease even though the risk of transmission remains the same. Healthy children will be infected up to two weeks later.
Moreover, people whose immune systems are already weak and have the flu can spread influenza viruses for weeks or even months after they recover from the disease.
That’s because flu symptoms can already be contagious even before an infected person feels the symptoms or realizes that he or she has fallen ill. This is why the flu can take so many lives every year.
How long have you had the flu?
- It may take 1-4 days after exposure to the influenza virus for symptoms to develop.
- If you have the flu, you will contract it 1 day before symptoms appear, after which 5-7 days of pain.
- Younger children or people with weakened immune systems can suffer from the flu for longer.
- Influenza viruses can also survive on surfaces, such as doorknobs and tables, for up to 24 hours.
- Viruses live longer on materials such as stainless steel, and plastics or hard ones
- To avoid transmitting the virus to others, wash your hands as often as possible and avoid touching your face or mouth.
When should you seek help?
Most flu symptoms will usually heal within 1 week.
However, the flu can cause serious complications in groups with risk factors.
If you or your child experience any of the following symptoms seek medical help immediately:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pressure pain in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
Infants and children
- Difficulty breathing, or breathing quickly
- Didn’t get enough fluids
- Can’t eat
- Don’t wake up
- Don’t interact
- Blue skin
- Fever accompanied by a rash
- Fewer wet diapers than usual
How is the flu transmitted?
Here are the 3 most common ways flu viruses can be transmitted to others:
Adjacent to the sufferer
One way of transmitting the flu virus is through saliva droplets that squirt when an infected person sneezes, coughs or simply speaks. The saliva droplets can streak into the air up to 30 cm even 1 meter, and eventually be inhaled by those around.
Physical contact with sufferers
Flu can also be transmitted by touch, such as handshakes. The infected person will continue to sneeze and clean his nose or close his nose when sneezing by hand. When you shake hands, the virus can then move into your hand.
Touching the surface of a virus-exposed object
As mentioned earlier, viruses can stick to the surface of objects, such as doorknobs, cell phones, tablets, even banknotes. Because, the transmission of flu is very easy to occur just by touching the surface of an object containing the flu virus.
Influenza viruses can survive outside the human body for several hours, depending on the type of surface. Generally, viruses can last longer on the surface of iron, plastic, or glass. Other factors such as temperature and humidity levels can also affect how long the virus can last outside the body.
If a healthy person touches an object that has been exposed, the influenza virus can infect that person. The risk of transmission will be higher if the person directly touches his nose or mouth without washing his hands first.
Determination of diagnosis against influenza is determined based on:
Medical interviews. Complaints of sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy throat, runny or blocked nose, hoarseness with or without fever.
The physical examination can be found fever.
Blood tests are performed if the symptoms have lasted for more than 10 days or with fever reaching 37.8°C.
Complications that can arise from influenza include:
Acute ear infection (otitis media). Occurs due to the spread of the virus to the back of the eardrum. A common complaint is ear pain.
Asthma. In people with a history of asthma, influenza can be the originator of asthma attacks.
Inflammation of the sinus cavity or sinusitis. In untreated influenza, there can be inflammation of the sinus cavities. The complaint is usually a pain in the forehead area or around the cheekbones when prostrating.
Concomitant infections or secondary infections that are accompanied by bacteria, inflammation of the lungs (Bronchiolitis) in children. This secondary infection should get treatment from a doctor.
How to treat Influenza?
Treatments that can be done on Influenza include his wife, as well as a lot of drinking and medication. Try to rest and always in a warm and comfortable state. Also, try not to transmit the disease to others.
If there is a fever or severe symptoms, then the sufferer must undergo a total rest at home. Drinking plenty of fluids can help dilute the secret or mucus of the nose making it easier to remove.
To relieve pain or fever, you can use paracetamol or ibuprofen. In patients with a history of allergies, antihistamines can also be administered.
If the accompanying cough is severe, it is necessary to help with antibiotics drugs. In this case, antibiotics are ineffective for treating influenza. Because generally influenza occurs due to viral infections. While antibiotics only prove effective for bacterial infections.
Is there prevention for Influenza?
Influenza prevention can be done is to maintain personal and environmental hygiene. It is best to wash your hands frequently, throw dirty tissues in place and clean the surface of things. Some sources say high doses of vitamin C can reduce the risk of being infected with influenza.