influenza

by thomplil000
Last updated 6 years ago

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influenza

Influenza

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), that affects birds and mammals. The most common symptoms of the disease are chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort. Sore throat, fever and coughs are the most frequent symptoms.

On average 41,400 people died each year in the United States between 1979 and 2001 from influenza.

The word ''Influenza'' comes from the Italian language meaning "influence" and refers to the cause of the disease; initially, this ascribed illness to unfavorable astrological influences.

In April 2009 a novel flu strain evolved that combined genes from human, pig, and bird flu, initially dubbed "swine flu" and also known as influenza A/H1N1, emerged in Mexico, the United States, and several other nations. In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly for the young and the elderly. Although it is often confused with other influenza-like illnesses, especially the common cold, influenza is a more severe disease than the common cold and is caused by a different type of virus.


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