One type of sickness that almost everyone has become familiar with over their life is the flu. Few realize exactly what influenza is, however, and understanding the problem can be very helpful when it comes to preventing yourself from getting the flu in the future. In this article, well give you a basic overview of influenza so that you can better understand this common illness.


The symptoms of the common flu are something that most of us are familiar with. People who come down with the flu may experience a fever, as well as a sore throat and muscle pains. Headaches can also occur when one has the flu, as well as a case of coughing and a general week feeling. Oftentimes, people confuse influenza with the common cold. While many of the symptoms of the two illnesses are the same, influenza represents a much greater risk to ones health.

Different viruses cause the two illnesses to occur, and the influenza virus can be a very serious risk to ones health. Sometimes, those who are in poor health or extremely young or old, may even die at the hands of influenza. There are many different strains of influenza, and most often, they spread around the world annually. Some of the strains of influenza can be so powerful that they can represent a very dire risk to the health of a people. Currently, the world is facing a particularly deadly form of influenza known as the H5N1, or bird flu, strain.

Virus Types

As far as the virus itself goes, there are three known sub-viruses that one can categorize a case of influenza to. There are influenzavirus A, influenzavirus B, and influenzavirus C sub-strains of the disease, and they all have separate functionalities which affect humans differently. The influenzavirus A strain is the most damaging to humans, and the Spanish flu, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, and the H5N1 avian flu are all infuenzavirus A strains.

As mentioned previously, the influenza virus is one that tends to spread seasonally around the world. Most often, the peak of influenza season occurs in the middle of winter. One needs to take into account, however, the fact that the winter season occurs at different times throughout the world. For that reason, the risk of influenza is spread two-fold across the world.


Science is still unsure about what causes the seasonal influence, but it is suspected that the cause is due to the fact that people are in close quarters more often during the winter time. Also, colder temperatures can provide to be a more stable environment for which the virus can live, and for that reason, it may stick around longer than usual when it is spread through things such as doorknobs.

There is still no cure yet for the common influenza virus, but there are methods of keeping the virus at bay. Flu vaccines are commonly used and administered on a yearly basis, helping to bring down the drastic spreading that influenza can have when flu season hits. The best way for getting over a bout with influenza is to be sure to get rest, and drink a lot of fluids. You should also avoid the usage of anything that damages the body such as cigarettes or alcohol.

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