Influenza now rife all around the World
15th March 2012
Influenza or 'flu' as it is commonly known as, is a respiratory illness associated with infection by influenza virus. Common symptoms usually make an appearance roughly 2 days after infection and include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints. The condition was first indentified in 1933, and there are main three types determined: Influenza A, B, and C. Within influenza A, wild aquatic birds are the usual culprits for this. Viruses are sometimes then transmitted to other species and occasionally will cause catastrophic outbreaks in domestic poultry or be the foundation to a human influenza pandemic, such as the H1N1 strain (aka swine flu) of the disease that erupted in 2009 and is still prominent in different countries around the world in the present day. The influenza B virus is primarily active in humans. Only ferrets and seals are the known animals that can carry influenza B. It is less commnon that influenza A and pandemics do not usually occur. Influenza C virus can infect humans, dogs and pigs, sometimes resulting in both serious illness and local outbreaks. Despite this, it is far less prevalent than the other two types and typically just causes mild disease in children. Flu is usually most prevalent between the months of December to March, meaning it is currently in it’s peak period. Indeed earlier this month, 5 members of one family in Maryland, U.S. fell ill and tragically 3 died after MRSA pneumonia in their lungs was brought on, inflamed by flu infection. The family had contracted H3N2, one of the seasonal flu strains currently circulating this year. One of the deceased was a 81 year old woman named Ruth Blake, who was actually vacinnated against flu this season. The other 2 dead are 2 of her 3 children, who were caring for their mother at the time, and appear to have contracted influenza A and MRSA from her. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that 90% of seasonal flu related deaths and over 60% of flu related hospital admissions in the US annually are in those who are 60 or older. Flu is not just common in the US however and is proving deadly closer to home as the UK now has the third highest total of swine flu cases globally, after the US and Mexico. Earlier this year the government revealed the news that 14 people had died after contracting swine flu. Although medical experts did stress that this did not necessarily mean the deaths were directly down to swine flu, but that many of the victims had the virus. They also stated at the time that there were 335 people in hospitals across England with swine flu, of which 43 were in critical care. More worryingly, these figures could be a lot higher. Chief Medical Officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson, said that the true number of people in the UK suffering from the virus was not known as there would be many people trying to treat themselves at home instead of contacting their GP. If you require treatment or the prevention of various types of influenza such as swine flu, at Medical Specialists Pharmacy we can help. We have recently massively reduced the cost of Tamiflu to our patients and now offer Tamiflu from as little as just £21.98 per pack. Tamiflu belongs to a group of medicines named “neuraminidase inhibitors”. These medicines prevent the influenza virus from spreading inside the body and so help to ease or prevent the symptoms arising from the influenza virus infection. You can obtain Tamiflu online with or without a prescription at Medical Specialists Pharmacy, after completing a simple online consultation. If you prefer to order Tamiflu over the telephone, just give us a call and we will be pleased to help.