Influenza Virus affects the lives of many each year.
This papergives information about the virus itself and how it
operates, spreads, what its symptoms are, and what measure can be taken to prevent it from affecting you. The discussion focuses on Influenza type A and its relativity to the united states and the vaccines that are readily available.

Almost everyone has had the flue at one point or another in their life time. However research today has presented opportunities to not have to experience the effects of the flue. The common flue could be a particular strain of Influenza virus, I focused on Influenza A virus, which is most common in the United States. There is no reason why people should have to suffer the symptoms of the flue and be around those who have it, the vaccines that are being made are reliable and make a difference. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the Influenza Virus is contagious one day before you start showing symptoms and up to five or seven
day after becoming sick, you can still spread it others. The only way
out is through vaccines!

The Influenza virus is a member of the Orthomyxoviridae family, it is known as the common flu or more recent strains that have cause for concern, H1N1. Regardless, the Influenza virus is a segmented RNA virus with negative polarity. Two types of Influenza are classified: Influenza A and Influenza B; both are responsible for causing epidemic of human diseases. In the Microbiology an Introduction Influenza is considered an Emerging Infectious disease or EID, which can be classified by an increase in incidence in the recent past and potential to increase in the near future, having clearly distinctive symptoms, and when a local disease becomes wide spread (Tortora, Funke, Case, 416). Influenza A and B are responsible for respiratory illnesses of epidemic size, but Influenza B outbreaks are usually more localized where as Influenza A viruses are of larger epidemic and even world wide pandemic size (Micro Wiki, 2010). The categories of Influenza are divided by their antigenic similarities, or antigenic drift, which is caused by a point mutation and recombination events that occur during viral replication (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Vaccines are most available for Influenza A, which will be the focus of this presentation.

The structure of Influenza A virus is made up of eight RNA segments, each being encoded with one to two proteins. The structure plays a part in the replication and transcription of the Viral RNA, which requires three polymerase proteins (PB2, PB1, PA) and a nucleoprotein (Cell Research, 2009). Scientists, however, have categorized Influenza into two subtypes based on the type of surface antigens present, either a hemagglutinin or a neuroaminidase (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Being able to distinguish between Influenza A and B, Influenza A has been isolated in a variety of animal species either causing morbidity or mortality. In regards to humans it causes local and global outbreaks of respiratory diseases typically characterized by excess hospitalizations and deaths (Cell Research 2009).

One of the reasons that Influenza A has spread so far so fast is that it is transmitted by droplet transmission. Droplet transmission is spread by coughing, sneezing, laughing, or talking; droplets travel less than one meter from the reservoir host however, a sneeze produces approximately 20,000 droplets (Tortora, Funke, Case, 2010). If someone were to inhale the virus into their lower respiratory tract then they have a more than likely chance of contracting Influenza A.

Once Influenza A is in a host’s body, the primary site of growth is the tracheobronchial tree with the nasopharynx also being involved. The mucus that resided there may help spread the virus through the respiratory tract. The acid that resides on the mucus reacts with the viral envelope, which produces liquefaction, destroying the mucosal cells. The symptoms of this occurring in the body may be a cough but the most prominent symptoms are fever, muscle aches, and general prostration (Micro Wiki, 2010). The onset of the annual epidemics of the Influenza virus in the United States occur typically during the late fall through early spring. Rates of infection are highest in children one to three years of age, rates of serious illness and death are highest among persons ages sixty five and older and persons of any age who have medical conditions that place them at increase risks of complications. “Influenza epidemics were associated with estimated annual averages of approximately 36,000 deaths during 1990 – 1999 and approximately 226,000 hospitalizations during 1976 – 2001” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). In preventing such tragedies as these statistics vaccines for the virus have been heavily impressed upon societies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the vaccines given for Influenza A are called LAIV and TIV, these two vaccines contain strains of influenza that are equivalent antigenically to that years Influenza A (H3N2), (H1N1), and Influenza B. The strains of the vaccines are altered each year based on global surveillance and spread of new strains. The antigens from previous years’ pandemics are used in current vaccines; the 2010 2011 vaccine contains H1N1 like antigens from 2009. Current TIV and LAIV vaccines are grown in chicken eggs; both vaccines are effective and are widely available in the United States however, there are some differences. TIV cannot cause influenza because it contains an inactive form of the virus, but LAIV on the other hand contains attenuated viruses that can cause mild signs or symptoms related to virus, for example rhinorhea, nasal congestion, fever or sore throat. TIV is administered intramuscularly by injection to persons less than six years old, while LAIV is administered intranasally by a sprayer and given to non-pregnant persons aged two through forty-nine, and those who have no underlying medical conditions that would make them more prone to influenza complications (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Just as there are guidelines between the vaccines, there are people who are omitted from receiving any type of Influenza vaccine, “People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, people who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination, people who have developed Guillian-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine, Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and people who have a moderate to severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated)” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Vaccines cannot work for everyone, but that is why it is important for the vast majority of the population to have them so that it prevents spreading and vast infections. It is ideal to vaccinate before Influenza activity begins in the community. It would be best to have vaccines done before October, but realistically distribution is not completed until December or January (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Work Cited

Neumann. Gabriele, Chen. Hualan, Gao F. George, Shu. Yuelong, Kawaoka. Yoshihiro, (2009) H5N1 Influenza viruses: outbreaks and biological properties, Cell Research, 51-61. www.nature.com/cr/journal/v20/n1/full/cr2009124a.html
Micro Wiki. (2010). Orthomyxoviridae. http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Orthomyxoviridae
Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices(ACIP) Recommendations and Reports, (2010). Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines.
Tortora J. Gerard, Funke R. Berdell, Case L. Christine. (2010). Microbiology an Introduction. tenth edition. San Francisco. Pearson Education, Inc.
PICTURE: vaccineinfo.net, universe-review.ca, swine-flu-swine-influenza.blogspot.com, http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/flu-