Entries by studioplum_eswi

Social and societal impact

Besides the suffering of individual patients caused by seasonal influenza, which also has an impact on society as a whole, several other negative effects on society and its functioning may take place. Adults missing working days due to influenza represent a considerable proportion of the burden of influenza. In addition, children and elderly patients may […]

Burden of influenza

Although many people think of the flu as a mild annoyance that we have to deal with each winter, it can actually be a dangerous disease. During annual influenza epidemics in temperate climate zones, an estimated 5-15% of the population become infected and an average of 2-10% of the population develop clinical influenza. The WHO […]

Complications

The course of an influenza infection depends on factors relating to both the virus itself and the infected organism. The following factors influence the course of infection: physiological status of the patient in relation to age, nutritional status, history of the patient with respect to disease/health and related burden of chronic diseases, and level of […]

Diagnosis

Clinical diagnosis The clinical symptoms of influenza are fairly characteristic, and during periods of epidemics enable a sufficiently reliable diagnosis to be made. For general practitioners, they form the basis for diagnosing influenza. During differential diagnosis, account must be taken of conditions such as: the common cold, infections caused by other types of viruses and […]

The clinical picture

he course of influenza takes the form of a group of suddenly occurring symptoms such as: cough, fever above 38°C, muscular pain and/or headache. In the course of influenza infection, apart from the symptoms listed above, the following clinical symptoms often appear suddenly in the patient: generalized symptoms: shivering, general feeling of malaise, weakness, lack […]

Infectivity

The incubation period for influenza is one to four days. The period of infectivity depends on many factors, and has the following typical characteristics: in adults , it lasts six days – secretion of virus usually starts one day before the appearance of clinical symptoms and lasts approximately five days; in children, infectivity can last […]

Evolution

Influenza A viruses continuously undergo antigenic evolution. Since the viral surface glycoprotein HA is the antigen against which virus-neutralizing antibodies are directed, it is primarily the antigenic variation of HA that is responsible for the immune escape of influenza viruses. Two distinct mechanisms of antigenic evolution can be identified: antigenic drift causes regular influenza epidemics, […]

A lethal virus

The deadliness of an influenza virus mainly depends on its ability to efficiently suppress the innate immune system, thereby allowing high levels of virus replication. This is more likely to occur with pandemic influenza where the individual has not been exposed to the new virus subtype before and must rely on the innate immune response […]

Immune response

When the influenza virus infects the cells of the respiratory tract, both innate and adaptive immune responses are stimulated. The innate immune response develops very quickly and controls virus replication during the early stages of infection. The cytokines produced during this early phase in turn facilitate the activation of antigen-specific adaptive immune mechanisms. Adaptive immune […]