- Influenza (flu)
- Tips to prevent colds and flus
- Avian influenza (bird flu)
- Swine influenza (swine flu)
- The human immune system
- Influenza treatments
|Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses, which can be classified as type A, B, or C. Influenza is different from the common cold in that it causes a more severe illness, with fever, headache, significant fatigue and muscle aches. It is less likely to cause sneezing or a ‘blocked nose’ with thick nasal discharge.|
For more information, see Influenza.
|Influenza, or the flu, is caused by several types of viruses that can spread quickly from person to person via airborne particles.
Watch an animation about influenza.
|Winter brings with it the dreaded season for colds and flus. For most people, colds and flus are self-limiting and resolve within a few days. But for some people, there is a high risk of developing flu-related complications that could be fatal. Some simple common sense precautions can reduce the risk of acquiring an infection.|
For more information, see Tips to Prevent Colds and Flus.
|Doctor Joe Kosterich discusses ways to prevent catching the flu.
Watch the video Preventing Flu.
|Avian influenza, or bird flu, is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. There are several types of avian influenza. Those that cause infection and even death in humans are called highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Affected people are thought to have caught bird flu from direct contact with infected poultry.|
For more information, see Avian Influenza.
|Swine influenza or swine flu, more correctly named H1N1 influenza A, contains a mixture of genetic information from viruses that normally infect pigs in Europe and Asia as well as from viruses which normally affect bird and human hosts. It is believed that this virus spreads mainly from person to person via coughing or sneezing by infected people.|
For more information, see Swine Influenza.
|The purpose of the immune system is to act as the body’s defence against possible harm from toxins, bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. The human immune system is divided into two broad groups, called the acquired immune system and the innate immune system.|
For more information, see Human Immune System.
|The acquired immune system is responsible for the destruction of foreign particles once they have entered the body. During the first exposure to a foreign particle, the acquired immune system ‘learns’ how to attack and destroy it. A response to subsequent exposures can then be made more quickly and with greater force.|
For more information, see Acquired Immune System.
|The innate immune system includes those parts of the immune system that work no matter what is causing damage to the body, and does not need a lot of preparation. The major defences of the innate immune system are those that stop the infection from getting into the body in the first place.|
For more information, see Innate Immune System.
|Dr Joe Kosterich discusses how to know you have a flu and how flus are different from colds, and how to treat the flu.
|Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is used to treat or prevent influenza in selected adults and children aged over 12 months. Tamiflu reduces the occurrence of complications associated with influenza infection, such as pneumonia. Treatment results in shortening of symptom duration by one day, and reduces by half a day the time to return to work.|
For more information, see Tamiflu.
|Relenza (zanamivir) is used in the treatment of infections due to influenza A and B viruses in adults and children aged over 5 years. It is also used to prevent infection when vaccination is not appropriate, though it is not recommended as routine prophylaxis against influenza infection.|
For more information, see Relenza.
Featured Page Dates:
|Created: 5/5/2009||Modified: 21/5/2009|