7 April 2015
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses (Seasonal Influenza). This virus has been a major problem in the past and quite recently. The earliest recognized influenza pandemic was in 1580. This virus started in Asia in the summer and within 6 months, it had spread to Africa and Europe, then eventually North America. One of the most known influenza outbreak was the Spanish Influenza of 1918. This outbreak happened during the end World War I and caused more deaths than the war itself. It is called the Spanish Flu because of all the media reporting that the virus originated in Spain, but China and North America may have been the starting point of this virus. The first report was in May 1918 in the UK when workers from three different factories went home ill, later on in June the virus had spread into the military and that is when the virus began to spread all over the world. 50 million people were estimated dead due to this virus (Van-Tam 42, 44-46).
Symptoms of the seasonal flu are fever, cough sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, fatigues, headaches, and vomiting and diarrhea in children (Seasonal Influenza). The cough can last almost two weeks while most people recover from the other symptoms in almost a week. Once someone is infected it takes about two days for symptoms to show (Influenza [Seasonal]). As one can see, some of the symptoms are quite similar to a cold, so to ensure ones does or does not have a flu contact your doctor. The flu is caused by the influenza virus which is continuously changing, this is why it is recommended to get a flu shot every year. If not treated, the flu can spread quite rapidly, it can be passed through the air after someone coughs or sneezes or spread through hand contact (Influenza [Seasonal]). The virus will then start to infect the host and begin to multiply by...