The true influenza virus is an acute infectious disease brought on by a member of the orthomyxovirus family -- this comes in the form of influenza virus A or B, much less commonly influenza virus C.
Influenza virus outbreaks usually occur during the winter when the weather has taken a turn for the colder. In the United States the common flu season lasts from October to March, when temperatures are moderate to cold.
The influenza virus is spread by small particle aerosols that can enter and infect your respiratory tract. Another dangerous thing about the spread of theinfluenza virus is that it can also survive on surfaces for sometime as well. The incubation period for the influenza virus is short (about 18 to 72 hours) which means within that time frame you can start experiencing flu-like symptoms.
If you contract the influenza virus, it will stay concentrated in the nasal and tracheal tract for up to 48 hours when your symptoms will be the worst.
When the influenza virus enters your body, it infects the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract -- these cells then die due to the direct effects of the virus being on the cell. Once theinfluenza virus attaches to the cells of your body, the efficiency of your ciliary is very reduced.
Your body's interferon may play its part by decreasing the viruses production. But one of the most crucial elements of getting over your illness is to have a strong immune system. The stronger immune system you have the easier of a time your body will have in clearing theinfluenza virus.