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What is the difference between FLU A and FLU B?

What is the difference between FLU A and FLU B

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Flu season is a time of year that many people dread. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches. There are several different strains of the flu virus, but the two most common types are influenza A and influenza B. Despite having similar symptoms and modes of transmission, FLU A and FLU B are different in several ways. In this article, we will explore the key differences between the two types of influenza viruses.

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10 Differences between FLU A and FLU B

Firstly, FLU A viruses have a higher rate of mutation compared to FLU B viruses. Secondly, FLU A viruses have a broader range of hosts and can infect birds, pigs, and humans, while FLU B viruses primarily infect humans. Thirdly, FLU A viruses are more likely to cause severe flu epidemics, while FLU B viruses usually cause milder flu seasons. These are just a few of the differences that we will delve into in this article.

Here is a list of 10 differences between FLU A and FLU B:

  1. Genetic makeup: FLU A and FLU B belong to different families of influenza viruses. FLU A is an RNA virus belonging to the Orthomyxoviridae family, while FLU B is also an RNA virus belonging to the Bunyavirales family.
  2. Host range: FLU A can infect a wide range of hosts, including humans, birds, pigs, horses, and other animals, while FLU B primarily infects humans.
  3. Severity: FLU A is generally considered more severe and has a higher potential to cause pandemics, while FLU B is less severe and tends to cause milder flu seasons.
  4. Antigenic variation: FLU A has a higher rate of antigenic variation due to the constant genetic changes in the virus, while FLU B has a slower rate of antigenic variation.
  5. Geographic distribution: FLU A is more widely distributed globally and can be found in both hemispheres, while FLU B is typically found in only one hemisphere at a time.
  6. Incubation period: The incubation period for FLU A is generally shorter than that of FLU B, with symptoms appearing within 1-4 days of infection for FLU A and 2-7 days for FLU B.
  7. Symptoms: While the symptoms of both FLU A and FLU B can be similar, FLU A is more likely to cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
  8. Vaccine effectiveness: FLU A is more likely to mutate and render existing vaccines less effective, while FLU B mutations tend to be more predictable and easier to account for in vaccine development.
  9. Treatment options: The treatment options for both types of flu are similar, but certain antiviral medications may be more effective against FLU A.
  10. Mortality rates: FLU A is associated with higher mortality rates, particularly among high-risk groups such as the elderly, young children, and people with weakened immune systems, while FLU B has a lower mortality rate overall.

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In conclusion, understanding the differences between FLU A and FLU B can help individuals take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu. While both types of influenza can cause illness, FLU A is typically more severe and can have a greater impact on public health. However, taking precautions such as getting vaccinated and practicing good hygiene can help prevent the spread of both types of flu.

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