Who Is Most At Risk
Children under the age of 5 are at high risk of developing flu complications like pneumonia, dehydration, and brain dysfunction.
Influenza is also especially serious for adults 65 and older because of their weaker immune systems.
Other people at high risk of flu complications are pregnant women and those with asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer.
What Is Flu B
Flu B is the form of influenza caused by the influenza B viral strain. This often causes less severe outbreaks in places such as military facilities and refugee camps. Minor changes in this viral strain can happen through point mutations of the viral RNA. This phenomenon is known as antigenic drift. Unlike the influenza A virus, influenza b virus does not have subtypes.
Evolution And Virulence Of Influenza Viruses
Between worldwide outbreaks, known as pandemics, influenza viruses undergo constant, rapid evolution , which is driven by mutations in the genes encoding antigen proteins. Periodically, the viruses undergo major evolutionary change by acquiring a new genome segment from another influenza virus , effectively becoming a new subtype. Viral evolution is facilitated by animals such as pigs and birds, which serve as reservoirs of influenza viruses. When a pig is simultaneously infected with different influenza A viruses, such as human, swine, and avian strains, genetic reassortment can occur. This process gives rise to new strains of influenza A.
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Key Points About The Flu In Children
Influenza is a very contagious viral infection of the respiratory system.
It causes a high fever, body aches, a cough, and other symptoms.
Most children are ill with the flu for less than a week. But some children have a more serious illness and may need to be treated in the hospital. The flu may also lead to lung infection or death.
The flu may be treated with acetaminophen, cough medicine, and antiviral medicine. Your child will also need lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. Because the viruses change, researchers create a new flu vaccine each year to help protect against strains of the virus that are currently active. The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older.
There Are Actually Three Of Them
Aside from type A flu and type B flu, there is also type C flu. However, health authorities say that type C flu is something that causes only very mild flu symptoms. More importantly, its not responsible for flu epidemics and pandemics, and thats why we will focus on only the most notorious of the bunch, and they are type A flu and type B flu.
Yes, the flu virus is the one to blame for some of the moments in the history of mankind where so many human beings have died. For instance, back in 1918 theres the so-called Spanish Flu. In 1957 theres Asian Flu. Then theres Hong Kong flu in 1968. Not too long ago in 2004, theres whats known as Bird Flu.
In all of the above-mentioned cases of the flu, it is type A flu thats responsible. Needless to say, its far more dangerous than type B flu.
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Should I Worry About Catching Bird Flu
People in the United States have less to fear than people who live abroad. Most of the illnesses associated with bird flu have been reported in Asian countries among people who have had close contact with farm birds. Also, people are not able to catch the bird flu virus by eating cooked chicken, turkey, or duck. High temperatures kill the virus.
What Is Influenza A
Influenza A is a type of virus that causes influenza , a highly contagious respiratory illness. If you get it, you will need to rest at home and avoid infecting others. Vaccination can protect you against influenza A.
Although coronavirus , is a viral illness that has developed into a pandemic, the virus that causes COVID-19 is different from the one that causes influenza.
Both the influenza A and influenza B viruses circulate in the community and change continually, with new strains coming out each winter. This is why yearly vaccination is recommended.
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What Does Treatment For Influenza B Typically Involve
The treatments for influenza B and A are also pretty similar. You can use prescription meds to help shorten the duration of your illness, as well as other medication and lifestyle changes to lessen the intensity of your symptoms.
- Antiviral medication: “These help to lower the duration of symptoms, and can help prevent serious complications,” says Dr. Shanker-Patel. There are currently 4 FDA-approved flu antivirals.
- Over-the-counter fever reducers: “These are for fever control, and other symptoms,” says Dr. Shanker-Patel, and include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs and acetaminophen .
- Lots of rest and hydration
- Staying home
Do Different Types Of Flu Viruses Hit The Population Each Year
Different strains of the flu virus mutate over time and replace the older strains of the virus. This is why it’s important to get a flu shot each year to ensure that your body develops immunity to the most recent strains of the virus.
As determined by the CDC, the viruses in a flu shot and FluMist vaccine can change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of the flu will be most potent that year. Previously, all flu vaccines protected against three influenza viruses: one Influenza A virus, one Influenza A virus, and one Influenza B virus. Today, FluMist and some traditional flu shots generally cover up to four strains: two Influenza A viruses and two Influenza B viruses.
About two weeks after getting a flu shot or FluMist, antibodies that provide protection against the flu viruses develop in your body. That said, FluMist is also not recommended for use during the 2017-2018 season because it might not be effective.
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What Is Pandemic Influenza Preparedness
When an influenza pandemic emerges, WHO adheres to its six-phase preparedness plan. Phases 13 are the early stages in pandemic preparedness designed to prevent or contain small outbreaks. The 4th and 5th phases are characterized by urgency in implementation of mitigation procedures. Phase 6 is characterized by widespread disease and sustained transmission of the virus between humans.
What Causes The Flu In A Child
The flu is caused by flu viruses. Flu viruses are divided into 3 types:
Influenza types A and B. These 2 types of viruses cause widespread illness almost every winter. They often lead to more people needing to go to the hospital, and more people dying from the flu. Public health officials focus on stopping the spread of types A and B. One of the reasons the flu remains a problem is because the viruses change often. This means that people are exposed to new types of the viruses each year.
Influenza type C. This type of virus causes a very mild respiratory illness or no symptoms at all. It does not cause epidemics. It does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do.
A flu virus is often passed from child to child through sneezing or coughing. The virus can also live for a short time on surfaces. This includes doorknobs, toys, pens or pencils, keyboards, phones and tablets, and countertops. It can also be passed through shared eating utensils and drinking. Your child can get a flu virus by touching something that was touched by an infected with person, and then touching his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.
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Can Influenza A Be Prevented
Influenza spreads very easily from one person to another. If you have influenza, you should stay at home while you’re sick, cover your face when you sneeze or cough, and regularly wash your hands.
If you are around someone with influenza, you can help avoid getting sick yourself by regularly wiping surfaces they touch, using a cleaning cloth with detergent, and washing your hands.
Getting vaccinated each year before winter arrives is the best way to protect against influenza A. A new vaccine is needed every year because influenza viruses change constantly.
Flu vaccine is available for everyone aged over 6 months. The vaccine is particularly recommended if you are at risk of complications of influenza, or if you live or work with people at high risk of getting the flu.
Strep Throat Vs Flu: Signs And Symptoms
Symptoms of strep throat can vary in severity and even from person to person. Common symptoms of strep throat include a sudden high fever, sore red throat, white spots on the throat, headache, chills, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes in neck, and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms of strep throat may appear within five days of exposure to bacteria.
Common symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and in some cases nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
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Know The Difference Between Type A Flu And Type B Flu
Are you aware that theres type A flu and type B flu? If not, then youre in the right place. This article will get you introduced to the key differences between these two types of flu. Make sure that you share this article on your various social media sites afterwards to get everyone you love know about type A flu and type B flu, too!
Just a quick heads-up before we begin: everything you will encounter below is not meant to be taken as professional advice, which can only come from the mouth of your trusted doctor.
Demographics Baseline Characteristics And Clinical Characterization
Overall, 75,164 confirmed patients with COVID19 infection, 113,818 with influenza type A and 9266 with influenza type B were included in the metaanalysis, of which 51% of COVID19, 54% of influenza type A and 52% of influenza type B included patients who were male. Funnel plots for included studies did not detect significant publication bias . Table shows that most patients of COVID19 , influenza type A and influenza type B had fever. Cough was the second most common symptom presenting in the patients of COVID19 , influenza type A and influenza type B . Runny nose was the third most common symptom presenting in the patients of influenza type A and influenza type B of patients. While runny nose was less common symptom in COVID19 and it is presented in 14% of patients. Also, fatigue was the fourth most common symptom in influenza type A , while it was less common in COVID19 and influenza type B patients. Dyspnea was less common in COVID19 patients , in comparison to influenza type A and influenza type B . Likewise, sore throat was less common in COVID19 patients , in comparison to influenza type A and influenza type B . Also, rhinorrhea was less common in COVID19 patients , in comparison to influenza type A and influenza type B . There was no information about coryza in COVID19 patients, while it is presented in influenza type A by 47% and influenza type B by 32% of the patients .
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Influenza B Viruses Mutate A Lot Slower
Needless to say, type B flu is less evil than type A flu because its easier to control since it can be transmitted only by humans.
One more thing about type B flu that makes it less terrifying than type A flu is the fact that the influenza viruses responsible for it mutate 2 to 3 times slower than the influenza viruses behind type A flu. Yes, influenza viruses tend to change on a regular basis and this is the reason why getting the flu shot yearly is a good idea.
But despite of being due to different influenza viruses, type A flu and type B flu tend to cause the very same symptoms, and most people who are infected tend to heal on their own.
How Is The Flu Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. The goal of treatment is to help prevent or ease symptoms.
Treatment may include medicines such as:
Acetaminophen. This is to help lessen body aches and fever. Don’t give aspirin to a child with a fever.
Cough medicine. This may be prescribed by your childs healthcare provider.
Antiviral medicine. This may help to ease symptoms, and shorten the length of illness. This medicine does not cure the flu. The medicine must be started within 2 days after symptoms begin.
Antibiotics arent effective against viral infections, so they are not prescribed. Instead, treatment focuses on helping ease your childs symptoms until the illness passes.
Talk with your healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Also make sure your child:
Gets lots of rest in bed
Drinks plenty of fluids
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Can Flu B Be Prevented
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting your annual flu vaccine. The flu vaccine protects against the most common flu strains. For the 2021-2022 flu season, the vaccine protects against two flu A, and two flu B strains.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself from the flu by practicing good hygiene, including frequent hand washing. Since the pandemic started, flu cases have been lower, suggesting that COVID precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks might also help prevent flu.
Lineages Of Influenza A Viruses
Avian influenza A viruses that infect birds have evolved into distinct genetic lineages based on the geographic locations where they were first detected. These different lineages can be distinguished by studying the genetic make-up of these viruses. For example, avian influenza A viruses that were first detected in birds in Asia can be recognized as genetically different from avian influenza A viruses that were first detected among birds in North America. These broad lineage classifications can be further narrowed by genetic comparisons that allow researchers to group the most closely related viruses together. The host, time period and geographical location are often used in the lineage name to help further delineate one lineage from another.
Avian influenza A viruses are classified into the following two categories: low pathogenicity avian influenza A viruses, and highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses. The categories refer to molecular characteristics of a virus and the virus ability to cause disease and mortality in chickens in a laboratory setting pdf iconexternal icon. HPAI and LPAI are defined and explained below:
Avian Influenza A Viruses
Avian Influenza A Viruses
Avian Influenza A Viruses
Avian Influenza A Viruses
Avian Influenza A Viruses
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What Is Influenza Band How Is It Different Than Influenza A
Both influenza A and B are very contagious and have comparable rates of infection and death. But influenza A and B have some key differences that determine how prevalent they tend to be.
Influenza A: “Influenza A is a more common and faster-changing strain of influenza virus,” says Dr. Shanker-Patel, which is part of the reason it spreads so easily and tends to be the dominating strain during flu season, responsible for the majority of infections. Influenza A has subtypes, which are classified based on the combo of these two proteins found on the surface of the virus: hemagglutinin and neuraminidase . The two main circulating A subtypes in humans, says Dr. Shanker-Patel, are A and A.
Influenza B: Influenza B is normally less common and a more slowly changing strain of influenza. It gets classified under two lineages: B and B, says Dr. Shanker-Patel. With influenza B, people can be contagious days before the onset of symptoms, she notes.
Another difference between the two: B is found only in humans, while A can be found in other species like birds and pigs, according to Dr. Shanker-Patel.
Oh, and flu season usually involves strains of both flu types . For example, “The 2019-2020 influenza season in the northern hemisphere was predominately influenza B/Victoria and influenza Apdm09,” says Dr. Shanker-Patel.
A Vs B: Severity And Recovery
An uncomplicated infection with either influenza A or influenza B can cause symptoms that last around one week. Some people may still have a cough or feel fatigued after two weeks.
Some influenza A subtypes can cause more severe disease than others. For example, in the recent past influenza A viruses have been associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in children and the elderly than in other age groups, according to the CDC.
In the past, it was thought that infection with influenza A was more severe than infection with influenza B. However, a 2015 study in adults with influenza A and influenza B found they both resulted in similar rates of illness and death.
Additionally, in a Canadian study looking at children 16 years old and younger, influenza B infection was associated with a higher risk for mortality than influenza A.
Influenza C is regarded as the least serious of the three types that humans can get. It typically produces a mild respiratory illness in adults. But theres some evidence that it can cause serious respiratory illness in children under age 2.
The CDC estimates that each year, from 2010 to 2018, influenza infection resulted in between 9.3 and 49 million illnesses, 140,000 to 960,000 hospitalizations, and 12,000 to 79,000 deaths.
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