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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between Influenza A And B

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What is the difference between influenza a, b and c?

What is the difference between influenza a, b and c?

Classification: Influenza viruses are RNA viruses that have segmented genome and have high antigenic diversity. They are classified by a protein inside the virus (a, b, and c). Influ a is responsible for frequent annual outbreak and has more propensity for antigenic change. B causes outbreaks every 2 to 4 years. Influ c is known to infect human and pigs but it is rare ...Read more

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Dr. Ronald Krauser
2 doctors shared insights

Influenza (Definition)

Influenza is a viral respiratory infection that causes cough, fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches and headache. While most healthy people suffer few complications from the flu, it can be deadly for pregnant women, babies and children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems. That's why it's so important to get the flu shot to protect yourself ...Read more


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Should i be worried about spreading influenza a or b to my family? They are also on antibiotics.

Should i be worried about spreading influenza a or b to my family? They are also on antibiotics.

Yes: Antibiotics do not provide any protection , nor do they treat influenza. If your family was vaccinated, they are less likely to catch your influenza, but the vaccine is not 100% effective. Good handwashing and decontamination of shared objects (doorknobs, refrigerator, faucets etc), cough and sneeze into your sleeve. Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is an antiviral that can be used to prevent flu when exposed. ...Read more

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How to distinguish influenza a from influenza b?

How to distinguish influenza a from influenza b?

Testing: But clinically not much different. Numbers wise influnza A is more common than B. But as a patient, you won't really be able to tell the difference. ...Read more

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Can you have both influenza a and influenza b at the same time?

Yes. : Although rare, it does sometimes happen. Last week i had a little girl who presented with influenza symptoms, and tested positive for influenza a in my office. I am part of a dept of health survey site, and sent an additional specimen to the state lab, which identified both influenza a and b in this unfortunate girl. She recovered with tamiflu (oseltamivir). ...Read more

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Got treated for influenza A. Was hospitalized for 4 days. Am I still contagious ? Can I pass it on to others even after a week?

Got treated for influenza A. Was hospitalized for 4 days. Am I still contagious ? Can I pass it on to others even after a week?

Flu: The contagious period generally is from one day before onset of symptoms/illness until 24 hours after fever has resolved. Once past that point, you are no longer infectious to others. ...Read more

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Can someone die from influenza a?

Can someone die from influenza a?

Yes: Influenza a can be deadly. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with underlying health problems are at the greatest risk; but even perfectly healthy people can die from it. That is why we strongly encourage everyone to be immunized. We know that we can't predict who will have a severe case; and everyone who gets influenza risks harming others when it spreads. ...Read more

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What is the cause of influenza a?

What is the cause of influenza a?

Influenza A virus: Influenza viruses are categorized as influenza a or influenza b. Influenza a is the more common and more serious one. Usually two of the 3 strains in each influenza vaccine are influenza a viruses. ...Read more