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Running head: INFLUENZAInfluenzaErin Lynn BurchGrand Canyon University: NRS-427VN-O501July 8, 2018 1
Running head: INFLUENZAWhat Is InfluenzaAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccineeach year” (2017). The influenza virus can happen year round the peak of the illness occurs each year during the months of September to May (known as flu season in the medical field) and always occurs as an epidemic. For a virus/infection to be considered an epidemic it must spread rapidly over a short period of time and infect many people. Symptoms of influenza often start suddenly and are not a gradual onset. Some people will mistake cold symptoms for the flu because they have very similar symptoms including cough, sore throat and runny/stuffy nose. However, people who have the flu will run a fever and have muscle/body aches, and fatigue. Influenza is spread by droplets that enter the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. According to the CDC, “a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes” (2017). The reasons for influenza epidemics are because a person can spread flu virus to others before they even know they are sick because the onset of the flu virus isgenerally 1-4 days after exposure with the peak of symptoms typically being two days. Complications from flu virus can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. While flu virus can infect anyone, our infants and elderly are the most susceptible due to weakened or not developed immune systems. Flu virus can be deadly for our susceptible groups and those that already have respiratory complications. The CDC states that “anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, 2
Running head: INFLUENZAbut some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children” (2017). While prevention is best by getting a seasonal influenza vaccine, it is not full guarantee that no one will contract the virus. Seasonal flu vaccines are typical guesses by the CDC as to what strain will be prominent each year. However, even though it is not a guarantee it does help if you do contract the virus by making symptoms less prevalent as well as not last as long. Flu antiviral agents are used to treat a person that contracts the flu. While viruses cannot be treated

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