Influenza (flu)

Background

Influenza or flu is a viral respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are 4 types of influenza viruses, types A, B, C and D, but only the first three types infect human. Influenza A and B viruses are responsible for the seasonal epidemics of disease, while Influenza C infection is less common and usually only causes mild symptoms in children. 131 subtypes of influenza A viruses have been detected in nature. Among them, H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes are routinely circulate in people. CDC estimates there are 36 – 51 million cases of flu illnesses and 22,000 – 55,000 among them died from October 2019 to March 2020.

Symptoms

The symptoms of seasonal influenza include fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise, sore throat and a runny nose. Most people can recover from flu within a week without requiring medical attention. However, influenza can also cause serious outcomes and result in hospitalization or death.

Transmissions

Transmission of influenza virus is mainly person to person contact. It can be transmitted by respiratory droplet produced by infected person when they coughs and sneezes.

Treatment

People with mild illness can have treatment used to relieve symptoms of flu, such as fever and cough. Patients with severe illness caused by influenza virus should be treated with antiviral drug.

Infection Control

Vaccination is available for influenza. However, due to the constantly evolving nature of virus, it is advised to have vaccinated each year.

CDC has recommended the following respiratory hygiene to prevent respiratory infection; 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Use in the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use;
  • Perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.

Influenza viruses are enveloped, and they can be inactivated by 70% ethanol. Hisept has a range of products, including hand sanitizers, antiseptic solution, surface and instrument disinfectants that can effectively inactivate virus, including influenza viruses. The virucidal activity of these products have been proved by EN 14476 tests.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal)

 

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