PMF IAS Current Affairs
PMF IAS Current Affairs
  • Context (IE): The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported a resurgence of Influenza cases in several Indian states.
  • Seasonal influenza (the flu) is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses.
  • It is highly contagious, affects the respiratory system, including the nose, throat and lungs, and is common in all parts of the world.
  • Transmission: Droplets containing viruses in the air, contaminated hands, etc.
  • Factors like high population density, poor hygiene practices, weather conducive to the survival and spread of the virus and low vaccination rates increase the risk of flu transmission.
  • Symptoms: Sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and a runny nose.
  • Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention. But influenza can cause severe illness or deaths, especially in people at high risk.
  • In India, the most prevalent subtypes are influenza A (H1N1), A (H3N2), and influenza B viruses

Types of Influenza Viruses

Influenza A Virus (IAV)

  • Primary Source: Aquatic birds (wild birds).
  • Widespread: IAV is also found in various mammals, including humans and pigs.
  • Clinical Impact: Influenza A viruses cause seasonal epidemics (commonly known as flu seasons) almost every winter.
  • IAV is the only influenza virus known to cause global epidemics (pandemics) of flu disease.
  • Pandemics occur when a new and different IAV emerges, efficiently spreads among people, and encounters little or no existing immunity.

Influenza B Virus (IBV)

  • IBV primarily infects humans.
  • Severity: While less severe than IAV, IBV still contributes to respiratory infections.
  • Vaccine Coverage: Seasonal flu vaccines target both IAV and IBV strains.

Influenza C Virus (ICV)

  • ICV infections generally cause mild illness.
  • ICV is not thought to cause human epidemics.

Influenza D Virus (IDV)

  • IDV primarily affects cattle and pigs.
  • Although found in animals, IDV is not known to infect humans and cause illness.

Naming Influenza Virus

How are influenza viruses named?

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