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Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infectious disease that affects mammals and birds. There are many types and strains of flu, each adapted to different types of hosts.


In humans, common symptoms of the disease are chills, fever, pharyngitis, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly in young children and the elderly. Although it is often confused with the common cold, influenza is a much more severe disease and is caused by a different type of virus.

Surgical Face Mask are widely used in Asian countries like Vietnam is common to see people wearing a face mask while riding a motorcycle, however with the recent outbreak of H1N1 proper use was neglected with many times of face mask available in the market there are confusion of the types of face mask to be used. A NGO Nha Bao Co LTD I CARE has launched a national wide awareness program on proper use of face mask in the country to prevent the infection of H1N1.

Types of influenza[]

There are several types of Influenza.

  • Influenza A - Mainly in birds, but can transmit to humans (see below)
  • Influenza B - Exclusively affects humans, immunity is usually acquired at an early age.
  • Influenza C - Influenza C virus infects humans and pigs and can cause severe illness and local epidemics. However, influenza C is less common than the other types and usually seems to cause mild disease in children
  • Isavirus - "Infectious salmon anemia" is a viral disease of Atlantic Salmon that affects fish farms in Canada, Norway, Scotland and Chile, causing severe losses to infected farm
  • Thogotovirus - A genus in the virus family Orthomyxoviridae, usually transmitted by ticks. THOV is known to infect humans in natural settings. DHOV is able to infect humans, causing a febrile illness and encephalitis.

Influenza A[]

Wild aquatic birds are the natural hosts for a large variety of influenza A. Occasionally, viruses are transmitted to other species and may then cause devastating outbreaks in domestic poultry or give rise to human influenza pandemics. The serotypes that have been confirmed in humans, ordered by the number of known human pandemic deaths, are:

  • H1N1, which caused Spanish flu in 1918
  • H2N2, which caused Asian flu in 1957
  • H3N2, which caused Hong Kong flu in 1968
  • H5N1, a pandemic threat in the 2007–08 flu season
  • H7N7, which has unusual zoonotic potential
  • H1N2, endemic in humans and pigs
  • H9N2
  • H7N2
  • H7N3
  • H10N7