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Human Influenza

Biology (Year 12) - Specific Disease Studies

Ben Whitten

What is influenza? Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages causing fever, severe aching, and excessive mucous buildup, and it will often occur in epidemics. What is the life cycle of influenza?

  1. The virus injects its genetic material into the host's cell

  2. The host cell machinery and genetic material are "hijacked", and are used to produce new viral particles

  3. Lysis occurs, releasing the new virus particles

  4. New viral particles infect other cells, repeating the cycle

What is the method of transmission?

  • Airborne transmission via sneezing, coughing etc.

  • Direct contact with infected individuals

  • Fomite transmission

What is the impact on the host? A number of symptoms and signs present following infection with influenza.

  • Fever

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Muscle pains and aches

  • Headache

  • Coughing

  • Exhaustion

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