Influenza is a transmittable respiratory infection mostly referred to as flu. Symptoms of the disease can be mild or severe depending infection stage level. These symptoms are soreness in throat and nose, high fever, coughing, weariness as well as body aches. The symptoms reveal themselves just two days after virus exposure, lasting for one week in maximum. Young children experience nausea and consequential vomiting, occurring in unrelated infection known as stomach flu. Influenza may have some complications like secondary and viral pneumonia, sinus infections which can eventually cause heart failure and asthma(Baum & Karlinsky,2006,p. 28).
There are several types of influenza: The first type of the flu is spread through air from sneezes and coughs that occur in moderately short distances. Another type is spread by having physical contacts on surfaces infected by the germ, and subsequently touching the eyes or mouth. Infections can occur during or even before sickness, and the virus can be verified through nasal system testing. Influenza can be prevented by frequent hand wash with soap, wearing of surgical masks to prevent inhaling infected air and use of vaccines to treat the advanced flu types(Baum & Karlinsky,2006,p. 55).
In virus classifications, there are three types of influenza viruses: Influenza virus A mostly originates from wild birds, then spread to other species like domestic poultry, giving rise to human flu pandemics. This virus type is most virulent pathogen in human beings. It is subdivided into distinguished serotypes according to antibody response, which have been confirmed to have caused deaths in humans. Virus B is less common type of flu in comparison to type A virus. It transmits at slower rates contrasting with type A, and it bears one influenza serotype. Due to lack of antigenic diversity, certain degree of the immunity is acquired at an earlier age. The decreased antigenic modification rate prevents frequent occurrence of virus B epidemics. Influenza virus C genus bears one species, infecting humans as well as pigs and dogs. The influenza causes local epidemics and severe illnesses however, it is not common and only result to mild infections to children (Harper & Bridges ,2008,p.22).
Influenza outcomes endure for longer periods of time compared to normal cold. The virus is most susceptible to the old and weak or individuals having vulnerable immune systems such as transplant and HIV patients, and pregnant women. In winter seasons, influenza is most experienced illness, even among healthy people. Occasionally, there are auto responses to the virus that occur, contributing to development of various syndromes due to virus medications used. Additionally, Reye’s syndrome can be as a result of the medications such as aspirin, prescribed in the treatment of the virus. Apart from taking paracetamol and getting vaccinations, having plenty of liquids and rest, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, surfaces infected with the virus can be sanitized by the use of bleach and ammonium compounds to prevent transmission. People with the infection may also be secluded in a common area, where the uninfected individuals would not be infected(Swayne & Ginter, 2012,p. 172).
Influenza can be classified under primary disease category. This is because it results to other harsh secondary and tertiary diseases such as asthma and heart failure in the long-run, if not treated in the early stages of infection. Additionally, influenza impacts to a combination of grave diseases for example, pneumonia, Petechial rash, severe body ache and nasal congestion which may eventually lead to death if they attain their advanced stages(Harper & Bridges ,2008,p.39).
Influenza is a contagious disease and can greatly impact negatively on communities, causing societal burden. Extended flu epidemic increases mortality rates in societies. The severe illness can cause loss of lives ranging from children to adults, and reduced life expectancy rates in the society. This results to loss of workforce and reduced productivity in corporations, and eventually affecting net profits and gross income of firms and economy. Due to influenza pandemics in societies, there can be financial losses in the healthcare sectors in terms of increased financial costs. Direct costs are incurred through monetary and acquisition costs. There are indirect costs resulting from lost productivity in the work place, premature deaths and reduced performance in the businesses. Prolonged flu infections results to over usage of the budgeted financial resources to acquire additional vaccines and stuff, as well as equipment for treatment. Exhaustion of financial resources in healthcare organizations results to debts, which can halt operations affecting future services(Simonsen & Cox, 2005,p.834).
Moreover, due to the great rate of transmission of influenza virus, school-aged students in the society are negatively influenced. Hospitalization and delays in attending the schools lead to slow developments and progression in the educational sectors. There are preventive costs incurred by the government agencies linked with the society. These costs occur in forms of planning, drug purchasing, plus inexperience stuff training on pandemic occurrence. For longer-term influenza control, it is usually necessary for healthcare organizations to develop frequent cost effective vaccination forums in the susceptible regions for future health assurance (Swayne & Ginter, 2012, p. 168).
Baum, G. L., & Karlinsky, J. B. (2006). Textbook of pulmonary diseases. Volume I (No. Ed. 6). Lippincott-Raven Publishers.
Harper, S. A., & Bridges, C. B. (2008). Prevention and control of influenza. MMWR Prev Control, 53, 1-40.
Simonsen, L., & Cox, N. J. (2005). The impact of influenza epidemics on hospitalizations. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 181(3), 831-837.
Swayne, L. E.,& Ginter, P. M. (2012). Strategic management of health care organizations. John Wiley & Sons.