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Influenza

Biology 11 Project
by

David Kong

on 30 May 2012

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Transcript of Influenza

Influenza
Description of Influenza Virus
The Influenza virus belongs to the class of virus called the orthomyoxoviruses. WIth myxo meaning the fact that they infect mucus membranes. The two types of influenza virus are Influenza A and influenza B in which the latter is the one that often causes annual epidemics.
Virus Structure
Size:
The size of the influenza virus varies greatly, some are as small as 10 nanometers while others are as huge as 120 nanometers. Basicly, the size of the virus is in the range of 10 nanometers to 120 nanometers.
Shape:
THe Influenza virus comes with a great variaty of shapes, but they are mostly envelope-shaped. The surface of the virus is consistently covered with protein spikes thus the the virus looks like a tennis ball with hundreds of needles on it. Two types of the spikes are heamagglutinin and neuraminidase.
Genetic Material:
The Influenza virus belongs to the group of virus containing RNA as its hereditary material. It reproduces by entering a host cell and using this host cell's resources to produce hundreds of copies of the viral RNA.
Disease caused by the Virus
The Influenza virus can cause a lot of types of diseases including the H3N2, H1N1, and also the bird flu. Most influenza virus tends to cause diseases that are not genuinely fatal. However there are a few exceptions such as the Spanish flu; the Spanish flu was a pandemic during the 1918-1919, which is believed to have killed more people in total than World War I.Influenza virus is also a very good transition to certain mortal diseases. For example. after cured from a flu caused by the influenza virus, people have a very high possibility of getting pneumonia, asthma, diabetes, sinus infections and ear infections.
Symptoms:
A variety of symptoms can be caused by the influenz They can be mild or severe depending upon the type of virus and your age and overall health. Although it is a respiratory virus, influenza can affect other body systems, making you feel sick all over. Some common symptoms are:
* Fever (usually high)
* Headache
* Extreme tiredness
* dry cough
* Sour throat
* Runny or stuffy nose
* Muscle aches
* Gastro-intestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, are much more common among children than adults.
Influenza Virus Transmission
Influenza is highly contagious and is easily transmitted through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person who is coughing and sneezing. Influenza is spread through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person during coughing and sneezing. The disease infects the nose, throat or lungs. It often breaks out as an epidemic which quickly spreads from town to town and country to country. Typically, an area can have epidemic conditions for a period of four to six weeks before it eases off. As it is so easily spread, influenza can make many people ill in a short period of time. Onset of symptoms range from 18 to 72 hours.
How to prevent influenza transmission:
influenza can be prevented through many ways:
* Vaccination
* Antiviral drugs
* Good hygiene (covering mouth when cough, wash hands frequently, avoid to go to crowded areas)
The Life cycle of Influenza Virus
The life cycle of the influenza virus is lytic. When infected by the virus, a virus particle lands on the cell surface and is then taken into the cell. The genetic information of the virus is released into the cell and heads for the cell's nucleus (where the cell's genetic information is housed). From the nucleus, the viral genes direct the production of new viral components. These collect together at the cell surface and form themselves into new virus particles. The newly forming virus particles bud from the cell and are released to infect other cells.
The Incubation period:
The incubation period (the time from when you become exposed to when you get sick) is about 3 days. Infected people are most contagious during the 24 hours before symptoms occur, but are also contagious throughout the course of the illness.
The target of the influenza virus:
When an influenza-virus attacks the cells of the respiratory tract and enters it, the lining of the respiratory tract is damaged. The tissues become swollen and inflamed. It uses the cell’s reproductive system to reproduce itself. Within a very short period, it produces hundreds of new viruses.
Defenses
How the body defend against the influenza virus:
The body has many Natural Killer cells which kill any foreign cells that are recognized as non-self cells. NK Cells contain granules filled with potent chemicals, and kill on contact. When the Natural Killer cells search and kill those viruses, they binds to its target, aims its weapons, and delivers a burst of lethal chemicals.
Treatment for influenza:
The main treatment for influenza is to rest adequately, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid exertion. Normal activities may resume 24 to 48 hours after the body temperature returns to normal, but most people take several days. Very effective anti-bacterial drugs such as the penicillin, unfortunately, can only kill bacteria rather than virus. The real anti-viral drugs for influenza aomost does not exist because the virus mutates at an astonishing rate. Thus letting the body to naturally kill the virus is the best way to recover.
Interesting Facts
Influenza Type A is the most common and also the scariest of the three influenzas, causing the most serious epidemics in history. Examples: Spanish Flu, Bird Flu, and the Swine Flu
Influenza Type B flu outbreaks also can cause epidemics, but the disease it produces generally is milder than that caused by type A.
Influenza Type C flu viruses, on the other hand, have never been connected with a large epidemic, usually just causing mild respiratory infections similar to the common cold.
THE END
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