We have prepared some facts, graphics and a few links to some useful videos on influenza for upcoming flu season.
What is Influenza?
Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a number of different influenza viruses. These viruses pass through the air and enter the body through either the nose or mouth. The flu can affect all age groups, some people, including older people, young children and people with certain health conditions are at a higher risk for having serious flu complications which could be fatal. The flu affects between 5 and 20 percent of people in the United States each year. Influenza is the cause of approximately 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a yearly flu vaccination. The best time to get vaccinated is early fall because seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October. Flu outbreaks mainly occur in the late fall, winter and early spring with the most outbreaks usually occurring between December and February. Practicing good hygiene can also help prevent getting the flu. Common symptoms of the flu include body/muscle aches, chills, fatigue, cough, fever (101ºF-102ºF), headache, runny/stuffy nose and sore throat. The flu is often mistaken with the common cold because they have many similar symptoms. However, symptoms of the flu often come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold. In addition, colds rarely cause a fever of headaches, and the flu almost never causes an upset stomach.
Khan Academy Videos Explaining The Flu:
The Evolution of Flu Viruses from 1918-2009:
Antigenic Drift of the Flu Virus:
Antigenic Shift of the Flu Virus:
World Health Organization Influenza Video:
Infographic: Myths About Vaccines:
- New Thinking About Herd Immunity – RicochetScience (July 2015)
- Infographic: Myths about Vaccines – Ricochet Science (June 2015)
- Influenza (Flu) – CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (September 28, 2015)
- Red Book Online Influenza Resource Page – AAP: American Academy of Pediatrics (September 7, 2015)
- Flu (Influenza) – NIAID: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (September 23, 2015)
- FDA panel endorses WHO picks for 2015-16 flu vaccine – CIDRAP: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (March 4, 2015)
- Influenza – Global Influenza Programme – WHO: World Health Organization (September 2015)
- Flu.gov – Know what to do about the flu. – HHS: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (September 29, 2015)
- Flu study, on hold, yields new vaccine technology – Science Daily (September 2, 2015)
- How flu viruses gain the ability to spread – Science Daily (September 23, 2015)
- This year’s flu vaccine expected to be a ‘good match’ – Science Daily (September 24, 2015)
- Rapidly assessing the next influenza pandemic – Science Daily (September 24, 2015)
- Evolution of Flu Viruses, 1918-2009 – Wikimedia Commons
- Antigenic Drift of the Flu Virus – Wikimedia Commons
- Antigenic Shift of the Flu Virus – Wikimedia Commons
- Infographic – Ricochet Creative Productions LLC
Page designed by Chloe Shaut. Chloe is a junior at Watauga High School where she is working towards getting an Associate of Science Degree. Chloe is also one of the instructional designers at Ricochet Creative Productions.