Influenza As An Influenza Virus

1426 WordsAug 30, 20156 Pages
INTRODUCTION: Influenza, more commonly known as the ‘flu’, is a chameleon like infectious disease, that presents itself with varying characteristics from year to year, due to the wavering identity of the strain. “Like HIV, influenza is an RNA virus, constantly changing its appearance and adept at eluding recognition by the human immune system” (Schneider, 2014). From its inception of 1918, influenza claims an average of 250,000 to 500,000 people worldwide, annually. Little is known of the virus’s origin however; recent studies examined pathology specimens belonging to deceased soldiers of 1918, revealing similarities with that of the avian flu virus (Schneider, 2014). Evidence has correlated a pattern of influenza strain elements, accompanied by consistent transmutation, that has established a paralleled relationship between that of animal reservoirs and Asia. It is believed that global transmission of the virus is carried via birds that consume food from the same sources that of pigs, consisting of contaminated feed and waterfowl. “Human and animal influenza viruses incubate in a pig’s digestive system, forming new genetic combinations” (Schneider, 2014). Asia occupies cohabitation of the two species that yield fertile breeding grounds for a virus to manifest, while posing a significant threat and concern to the heavily populated areas within close proximity. HISTORY: Viruses that were responsible for the 1957 and 1968 epidemics, resembled that of the avian
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