This is a brief article on the flu virus and the different types of flu viruses. It also discusses the types of influenza vaccines.
Platitudes about the flu and cold virus and their treatment never cease to amaze me. “Eat chicken soup” someone says; “starve a cold, feed a fever” says another. “Get plenty of rest and drink fluids” still says another. While all these things are important for the comfort and healing process, none are curative. Most of us have had the flu at least once in our lives, some more than others, but not many of us know exactly what the flu is.
The flu, more scientifically known as Influenza, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. Influenza is spread by contaminated droplets generated by coughing. After exposure, the incubation period is usually about 2 or 3 days. Symptoms include but are not limited to: fever (usually 101-103), headaches, muscle aches, chills, dry cough, runny nose, nausea and/or vomiting, and sore throat.
There are 3 main types of influenza viruses; A, B, and C. Influenza A is the most common and the most virulent and has caused the most epidemics in history. Type B may also cause epidemics, but the disease it produces generally is milder than that caused by type A. Influenza C viruses, on the other hand, have never been connected with a large epidemic, usually just causing mild respiratory infections similar to the common cold.
The flu vaccine comes in two forms: nasal spray or injection. Rest in the comfort that when you elect to receive this vaccination you are getting the best possible preventative medical care to cover the most common types of flu viruses.