There are different types of flu
…and influenza A is just one of them
The three types of flu are A, B, and C. Type A and B are responsible for the annual influenza epidemics that affect up to 20% of the population. Type C also causes flu. However, its symptoms are much less severe.
It is the culprit of around 50,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospital cases in the US alone. Efforts toward subduing the viral disease has been increased worldwide.
Types of Influenza A
Under influenza A, there are several subtypes which are characterized according to the membrane proteins that can be found in them: HA for hemagglutinin and NA for neuraminidase. In total, there are 18 identified subtypes for HA and 11 for NA.
We are all familiar of H1N1, also dubbed as the “swine flu”, which was declared the most common flu found in humans back in 2009. Another strain to look out for is H3N2, which is dominant in Australia and UK. The fact that only very few are exposed to this makes it very dangerous.
Influenza A can be found in many species
There’s a reason why there are a lot of influenza A subtypes. It can be attributed to the fact that it can be found in not just humans but also in other animals such as pigs and birds. The other types of flu, B and C, on the other hand, can only be found in humans. And we don’t have to worry about influenza D because they only affect cattle.
You can contract it 6 feet away from the infected person
Influenza A is extremely contagious. People who contract it can spread the virus to others from up to six feet away when they cough or sneeze. It can also be contracted if you touch an object that an infected person has touched.
There’s no treatment for Influenza A
…or other types of influenza, for that matter.
So far, no treatment has been discovered or manufactured to eliminate the virus. Just like any other viral infection, it has to run its course. Medications are focused on prevention and relieving its symptoms, such as body pains, fever, congested nose, etc.