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Free «Influenza and Measles» Essay Sample


Measles is a viral disease that is highly contagious and mostly common among children. Basically, it is a respiratory infection caused by precise virus. It is spread via droplets form infected person’s organs such as the mouth, nose, and throat. The droplets in the air result from coughing and sneezing. Individuals with active measles infection and those who have received vaccination against the measles are immune to disease. Measles causes rash on the skin and symptoms of flu, fever, and coughing in addition to a runny nose. It is a condition that is common for a childhood. On the other hand, influenza is a condition that is basically known as the flu, a disease that is highly contagious to the respiratory system and is caused by a virus. This condition, unlike measles, affects all the age groups and has more severe symptoms. Influenza is spread the same way as measles, via droplets that are infected with the virus. Also, it is vital to note that influenza is common for human beings and animals. Influenza is more widespread disease than measles (Connie, 2011).



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Transmission of Measles

The virus of measles can be transmitted to other people from four days earlier to four days afterwards the appearance of rashes. Measles is so transmissible that if one individual is infected, 90% of the people near who are not resistant will also become infected with the virus. The virus survives in the mucus located in such organs as the nose and throat of the infected person. When the victim coughs or sneezes, droplets are released in the air. The droplets get into other people’s throats and noses during the process of breathing or when they put fingers in their mouth or nose after having contact with infected surface. The virus can exist on infected surfaces for a period of 2 hours, and easily spreads. Individuals who are not immune will, perhaps, get it when they come to contact with infected people (Maxine, 2004).

Pathology of Measles

Measles is a common infection of the childhood stage. The cases where measles leads to death occur a few days after the appearance of the skin rashes. The International Conference on the Immunization of Measles was developed in order to study the measles virus infections due to the increase in the number of measles cases, especially in the developing countries as well as some of the developed countries. Measles continues to be one of the most worldwide human infections. Thus, it poses a major threat to children in many parts of the world (Maxine, 2004).

Epidemiology of Measles

Measles is a highly transferable disease which has a main impact on the survival of a child, principally, in the third world nations. The significance of understanding the epidemiology of this virus is emphasized by its capability to change quickly in the face of aggregating vaccination coverage. A lot is still to be learned concerning its epidemiology, and the best policies for controlling measles are vaccines. Nonetheless, it is obvious that incredible advancement can be made in avoiding death from measles with current information about the disease, and by the means of the currently available vaccines and use of well-tried approaches. An understanding of the basic epidemiology of measles is required for operational control measures of measles (Maxine, 2004).

Transmission of Influenza

Influenza is also known as flu. It is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses or influenza viruses. Influenza is highly infectious and mainly attacks people who lack antibodies that prevent influenza. The influenza virus is usually spread by droplets of infected people who are coughing and sneezing. Influenza can also be spread through direct contact with infected person. Direct contact involves physical interaction with infected people. Thus, influenza virus is transmitted in three ways: direct contact with infected person; through contact with contaminated objects; and by breathing in virus contaminated aerosols. Influenza transmission may be prevented by covering the nose and mouth when sneezing. Washing hands with soap and water also helps to reduce flu transmission. Influenza viruses are hereditary variable and hence, their transmission is difficult to foretell. Influenza can also be spread through bird droppings when one comes into contact with them. Nasal secretions also transmit influenza. Airborne aerosols are the biggest cause of infection, although, it is not proven. Contaminated surfaces e.g. money, door knobs, handshakes, and cars etc. with influenza viruses can be made inactive by disinfectants, detergents, and sunlight. Washing hands is advisable since soap helps in curbing the risks of being infected. Influenza strains emerge when a present flu virus is transmitted to humans from an animal species. Poultry is one of the farm flocks that are vaccinated against influenza. Influenza is not similar to a cold as it is caused by a different virus (Connie, 2011).  

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Pathology of Influenza

Studies of human influenza have existed over centuries. The emergence of H5N1 influenza has intensified the research. Pathological study of influenza cases has enabled understanding and comparison of H5N1 virus and the common human influenza viruses. The worst influenza pandemic was in 1918, which killed fifty million people around the world. The H5N1 avian influenza viruses have raised alarm on a possible occurrence of another epidemic. Regarding the continuum of pathological changes experienced in the 1918, influenza epidemic is not different from other less fatal epidemics and deaths that have occurred during cyclic influenza outbreaks (Connie, 2011).

Epidemiology of Influenza

Flu or influenza occurs in discrete spate of varying degree every year. The epidemiology outline mirrors the unstability of the antigenic aspects of influenza. Also, it reflects their successive spread which depends on many factors. Transmission of the virus and vulnerability of a population to the influenza virus are some of the factors that have contributed to the transmission of the viruses. Some influenza viruses, e.g. influenza A viruses, may undergo episodic shifts in the antigenic properties of their covering glycoprotein’s, the neuraminidase, and the hemagglutinin. Flu hemagglutin is a surface glycoprotein which contacts with sialic acid remains on respiratory cell glycoproteins. The contact is important for beginning of infection. Progeny virions are tied with host cell after viral reproduction. Neuraminidase slices the links and frees the new virions. Neuraminidase also offsets hemagglutinin-interceded self-aggregation snare in respiratory emissions. There are three main subtypes of hemagglutins: H1, H2 and H3 which are among influenza A viruses that infect people. N1 and N2 are neuraminidases subtypes that also infect humans. Viruses of influenza B have a smaller proclivity for antigenic shifts. The only antigenic gist’s found in influenza B viruses are those of the hemagglutinin. The viral hemagglutinin protein is accountable of determining which species a tension can infect and where the strain of influenza will attach itself in the human body. The H5N1 virus binds itself deep in the lungs. Antigenic shifts lead to epidemics of influenza while antigenic drifts because restricted outbreaks of changeable extents. Restricted outbreaks occur over a small area (Connie, 2011).

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Vaccines used for Measles

Measles is a contagious disease that is transmitted through the air. It is the most lethal disease compared to other childhood fever illnesses. It also spreads fast and easily. Vaccination is hence the best and most convenient way of preventing measles. There are two major vaccines that used in the vaccination of measles. They are MMR and MMRV. MMR stands for measles, mumps, and rubella combination vaccine. Mumps are severe infectious illnesses characterized by bumps in the parotid glands. Rubella is a viral infection similar to measles, although, it is harmful to a foetus when it occurs at the early stages of pregnancy. MMRV stands for measles, mumps, Rubella and varicella. It is a combination vaccine. Varicella is a heightened contagious disease that is marked by popular and vesicular gashes. MMR vaccine is a combination vaccine that prevents the body against infection of three viral diseases: mumps, measles and rubella. One dose of MMR vaccine is usually prescribed for adults who are not at a higher danger of infection while two doses are recommended for adults who are highly likely to get infected. Pregnant women are usually vaccinated using the MMR vaccine after birth. Women should also avoid being impregnated after twenty eight days of MMR vaccination. MMRV is also a combination vaccine that offers protection against four diseases: Mumps, Measles, Rubella and Varicella. Varicella is also known as chicken pox. The MMRV vaccine is usually administered to children from twelve months of age to twelve years of age. MMR vaccine is not used on children who are less than twelve months of age (Maxine, 2004).

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Vaccines used for Influenza

The most commonly used vaccination against influenza is the influenza vaccine. It is a yearly vaccine that used within a given year to offer immunity to the body from the viral influenza virus. Also, it is known as the flu vaccine and is available by nasal spray or shots. It is bound to protect the body from three influenza viruses which are: H1N1 virus, H3N2 and the B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus. The influenza vaccine helps in preventing the spread of the disease among people. It reduces the sternness of the flu and its effects. The influenza vaccine remains the best method of fighting influenza and the spread of the flu (Connie, 2011).

Antigen Stability in Measles versus Antigen Stability in Influenza

Measles is more of an antigenic stable virus. This view is supported by epidemiological studies that have shown that just one exposure to measles lead to life-long immunity on the infected persons. The basis for safeguarding against periodic infection is thought to be the creation of polyclone neutralizing antibodies that identify a virus existing in only one invariant antigenic form. The measles virus is a single stranded negative engulfing RNA virus. Humans are the normal carriers of the hosts. The virus is spread through coughing and sneezing. Also, it is spread through direct contact with infected persons (Maxine, 2004).

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In the spread of influenza there are two types of changes that attributed to antigens. They are antigenic shift and antigenic drift. Antigenic shifts are caused by major changes that occur in the envelope glycoproteins, the neuraminidase, and the hemagglutinin. They are associated with epidemics of influenza. Antigenic drifts are caused by minor changes in the enveloped glycoproteins, the hemagglutinin and the neuraminidase. Antigenic drifts usually lead to outbreaks that are confined within a small area. Influenza appears in divergent outbreaks that vary every year. The spread of influenza depends on the size of the population within a given area (Connie, 2011).


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