Influenza Virus Essay

668 Words Oct 24th, 2005 3 Pages
Silent Stalker 2
A Silent Stalker From the shadows, he lurks silently and patiently awaiting his next victim. He does not discriminate based on race, sex, or age, however; the youngest and eldest usually pay a higher price. This perpetrator who remains faceless is known as the influenza virus. The influenza virus commonly known as the flu is a contagious viral infection that invades its victim's body via the nose and mouth affecting the respiratory system of the individual. It spreads by respiratory droplets through coughing and sneezing. When a person sneezes or coughs, they normally cover their mouth or nose using their hand out of common courtesy and then you have the numerous people who were never taught manners,
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The influenza B virus does not mutate as quickly as the A virus. In viewing the maps and tables for the past several years, patterns suggest that there is a definite flu season usually starting around week forty-eight and ending around week sixteen of the year. There also seems to be a correlation in the duration of a flu season. The data from the last three years shows that the flu season lasts approximately twenty weeks. The data shows the influenza epidemic is stronger in the South and Mid-Western parts of the country. The East, West and Pacific Coast epidemics are more than half that of the previously mentioned regions. The influenza epidemic is most likely stronger in the South and Mid-Western parts of the country due to the weather pattern and the lack of resources available. The years that have had the worst flu outbreaks would be 2003-2004. After researching about the flu virus, it is my opinion that the virus undergoes mutation (antigenic drift) which leads to a different strain during the worst flu outbreaks. Also, the general population does not understand that your immune system can not fight off a different strain just because one is vaccinated the previous year. Therefore, it is very important that everyone, especially the young, old, and sick get vaccinated

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