Influenza A virus (IAV) is the virus responsible for causing the “flu” every season (October – April). Upon your body’s detection or recognition of the IAV it shifts into a “search and destroy” mode to clear the virus from your body. Your body’s military is mobilized to fight this infection. Who are the branches of the military that circulate your bodies entire systems to eliminate this virus? They include phagocytic cells, group of cytokines, interferons, B-cells, T-cells, and memory cells all of which capture and neutralize the pathogen (IAV). We also cannot forget about physical barriers that are apart of the body’s immune system. Mucous in the nose, mouth and airways serves as a physical barrier to pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and fungi). These pathogens like IAV get stuck in the mucous that coats our nose, mouth, and airways. This mucous trap is then swallowed into the stomach, blown out our nose or coughed out our lungs. This allows our bodies to rapidly remove the offending bug. So, once you come in contact with the flu virus (IVA), it the virus doesn’t get stuck in mucus and is eliminated via cough or sneeze then we must rely on the body’s internal immune system to launch it’s attack.
How does on become infected? We know that these bugs can stay suspended in respiratory droplets and aerosols that are sneezed or coughed into the air for long periods of time.