Introduction: Influenza is an acute respiratory infection which affects thousands of individuals every year.

It is our purpose to inform the Cooinda community about the effects of the virus, the responses they need to have in place in the case of an outbreak, and the ways they can work towards the prevention of an outbreak of the virus. For a better future we must first learn from the past, if the 1918-20 influenza pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we cannot be complacent about the virus. We must try to understand as many aspects of the virus as possible as to be able to prevent it; this includes its history, the factors the environment plays on our public health and what makes a community more susceptible.

SLIDE 2 Agent: Influenza is a potentially fatal viral infection which attacks the respiratory system. Transmission: Influenza is an air borne virus; it can be spread through an infected individual via droplets which can be formed from coughing and sneezing. Poor Hygiene can also encourage infection as the virus can be passed from person to person through infected hands. Host: Influenza can affect anybody in any age group; although children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are considered to be at a higher risk. Symptoms: Fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose. [World Health Organisation, 2009] Morbidity/ Mortality: “annual epidemics are thought to result in between three and five million cases of severe illness and between 250 000 and 500 000 deaths every year around the world.” [World Health organisation, 2003] Prevention: Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent contracting the virus.

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