The influenza virus has plagued humans for centuries. Recently antiviral medications, which shorten the duration of the flu, have been introduced into society. These medications along with vaccinations, which try to give the body immunity before the virus strikes, help to stop the flu before it attacks the host. The virus, however, replicates using host cells and can slightly change itself with each replication, which over time could lead to a strain immune to the current antiviral medication and vaccines. However, using more preventative measures could help slow the changing strains of the flu virus. Using vaccines to stop the virus at the host before it mutates and using antiviral medication before the flu starts replicating inside patients are both examples of preventative measures. In the future, research must be focused on creating vaccines to limit the need for antiviral medication to slow the evolution process of the influenza virus overall.
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
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