IL1 (Influenza-like illness) is a non-specific respiratory condition most commonly occurs in elderly. Its manifestations are slight fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and rhinorrhea (Carrat et al 1999; Monto et al 2000). Influenza virus is easily transmissible via close contact or by touch of nose and mouth. Virus is expelled into the air in large respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, the droplets do not remain suspended into the air.
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A normal adult infected with it remains contagious for 5 days while immunocompromised individuals may remain contagious for more than a week. After an infection the incubation period is 4 days after which infection starts revealing. Viruses responsible may be respiratory syncytial virus [RSV]), rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, and parainfluenza viruses. Bacterial infections are due to Chlamydia pneumoniae, Legionella spp., Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae but are less common.
If a community had already infected adults with influenza there are chances that 1-5% of the population can get influenza associated pneumonia. Less than 20% of elderly infected with influenza are also at risk of getting pneumonia (Nicholson, 2001).
Broken Ridge and Latham Gardens are likely to be connected because of increasing population, contamination of food and water, increased risk of immunosupression and increased infections in animals. Transmission of influenza virus and development of pneumonia is also due to adverse conditions at hospitals, overgrowth of population and crowded environment. The virus is also carried by animals, hence, close contact between animals and humans can also result in spread of infection.
IL1 is included under zoonoses infection. Other transmissible routes are through direct contact, via contaminated air borne particles, contaminated water, unhygienic conditions and environment, and fecal-oral route via swage leakage. The best way to protect the community from the spread of infections is via vaccination. Other hygienic conditions and personal hygiene including hand washing can also decrease the risk of infections (Ryan, 2001).
Carrat F, Tachet A, Rouzioux C, Housset B, Valleron A-J. Evaluation of clinical case definitions of influenza: detailed investigation of patients during the 1995–1996 epidemic in France. Clin Infect Dis 1999; 28:283–90.
Monto AS, Gravenstein S, Elliott M, Colopy M, Schweinle J. Clinical signs and symptoms predicting influenza infection. Arch Intern Med 2000; 160:3243–7.
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Nicholson KG. Human influenza. In: Nicholson KG, Webster RG, Hay AJ, eds. Textbook of influenza. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Science 1998: 219–64.
Ryan MAK, Christian RS, Wohlrabe J. Handwashing and respiratory illness among young adults in military training. Am J Prevent Med 2001; 21:79–83.