INFLUENZA

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Alternative names:

Asian flu; Asian flu type A; Asian flu type B; flu; Influenza A; Influenza B 

Definition:

A viral infection of the respiratory tract that causes fever, headache, muscle aches, and weakness

Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

There are three types of influenza virus. All are spread from person to person by inhaling infected droplets from the air. Type A is usually responsible for the large outbreaks and is a constantly changing virus. New strains of Type A virus develop regularly and result in a new epidemic every few years. Types B and C are fairly stable viruses. Type B causes smaller outbreaks, and Type C usually causes mild illness similar to the common cold. The incidence is 7 out of 1,000 people.

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