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The influenza virus

The origine

Bird flu first appeared about 6,000 years ago. With the development of the domestication of birds (especially ducks, which are an important reservoir of viral genes), China is part of the human influenza of about -2500. The pig industry "plays a key role in the pandemic".

About 2400 years ago, Hippocrates clearly described the symptoms of human flu. Livy was described as a brutal epidemic in ancient Rome, and it seems to be linked to the flu in retrospect. Since then, the virus has caused numerous pandemics. Historical data on influenza are difficult to explain, as influenza-like illnesses have also been found in other epidemics (diphtheria, plague, typhoid fever, dengue fever, typhus, hepatitis A).The first convincing observation dates back to 1580. The pandemic began in Asia and spread to Europe and Africa. More than eight thousand people died in Rome and several Spanish cities were also attacked. The pandemic occurred occasionally in the 17th and 18th centuries, with a pandemic between 1830 and 1833 (a quarter of the people were reportedly infected). It was not until the 1850s that Theophilus Thompson in the United Kingdom systematically described the epidemic.

The deadliest pandemic known to date is the Spanish flu (influenza A virus, subtype H1N1) which raged between 1918 and 1919. According to the earliest estimates, 45 million people died, while recent estimates suggest that between 50 and 100 million people died worldwide, This will make it one of the most serious health disasters in history and the Black Death in 1347-1350. Sick. Another characteristic of this epidemic is that it mainly kills young people: 99% of deaths occurred before the age of 65 and more than half occurred between the ages of 20 and 40. Such a high mortality rate is due to the extremely high attack rate (almost 50% of the exposed population) and the extreme severity of the symptoms, which would be linked to an excessive immune response (cytokine storm). The rare symptoms of influenza initially make the disease resemble dengue, cholera or typhoid. One observer wrote: "One of the most obvious complications is bleeding from the mucous membranes, especially from the nose, stomach and intestines. Ear bleeding and petechiae also occur. Most deaths are caused by secondary infections, including bacterial pneumonia, but the virus also kills directly, causing bleeding and massive pulmonary oedema, beyond the scope of treatment at the time. The virus also kills directly, causing bleeding and massive pulmonary oedema, beyond the scope of treatment at the time.

The subsequent pandemic was not so severe. TheAsian flu (virus type A, strain H2N2) in 1957 and the Hong Kong flu (virus type A, strain H3N2) in 1968 still caused millions of deaths worldwide. The development of antibiotics, by allowing the treatment of secondary bacterial infections, plays a significant role in reducing mortality. In 1976, New Jersey emerged with new threats (false positive for the 1976 swine flu).

It spread worldwide in 1977 (Russian Influenza) and has been spreading the H5N1 virus to Hong Kong and other Asian countries since 1997. However, since 1968, immunity and vaccination against previous strains of the pandemic influenza virus have limited the spread of the virus and may help prevent the risk of new pandemic diseases.

risk of contagion

It is popular in a seasonal fashion model that is essentially winter. It manifests itself in humans as a series of non-specific signs related to fever, headache, cough, pharyngitis, myalgia, fatigue and anorexia. These symptoms are a type of flu syndrome, and the flu is only one of the causes. The onset of these symptoms is caused by their sudden onset during a flu epidemic and usually disappears after a few days. Evolution. In the most severe cases, the flu is full of complications (the most important of which are bacterial pneumonia and dehydration) and can be fatal.

Diseases between people are transmitted mainly through the respiratory tract. The virus is spread by virus-rich droplets caused by coughing and sneezing of infected people. The diagnosis of influenza during a pandemic is simple. Simple influenza is usually treated symptomatically. Antiviral drugs can be used to treat and prevent influenza, of which neuraminidase inhibitors have come to occupy an important position. Influenza prevention is based on annual vaccination. In most industrialized countries, this vaccine is provided to people at risk and is used for domestic poultry.

Influenza is often considered synonymous with a cold or _cold_, a serious illness worldwide and a major public health problem. It causes high morbidity worldwide, with about 5 million serious illnesses and 290,000 to 650,000 deaths each year, mostly at risk - young children, the elderly and chronic.

the mortality rate

According to the WHO, seasonal influenza is responsible for between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths worldwide each year.


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