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Acute viral infection of the upper or lower respiratory tract. Influenza viruses A (the most common), B, and C produce similar symptoms, but infection with or vaccination against one does not give immunity against the others. Chills, fatigue, and muscle aches begin abruptly. The temperature soon reaches 38–40 °C (101–104 °F). Head, muscle, abdominal, and joint aches may be accompanied by sore throat. Recovery starts in three to four days, and respiratory symptoms become more prominent. Bed rest, high fluid intake, and aspirin or other antifever drugs are standard treatment. Influenza A tends to occur in wavelike annual pandemics. Mortality is usually low, but in rare outbreaks (seeinfluenza epidemic of 1918–19) it reaches immense proportions. Most deaths result from pneumonia or bronchitis.
Variants of INFLUENZA
influenza or flu or grippe
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on influenza, visit Britannica.com.