Influenza 1977 is pandemic Russian flu.
First appearance in the Soviet Union.
It started in 1977 and ended in 1979
It affected mainly people younger than 25 years.
Cause of influenza 1977:
● It's a pandemic (disease spreads rapidly throughout a country or the world) and infectious diseases affect mainly the respiratory system.
● Caused by influenza viruses which belong to the RNA, orthomyxoviridia family.
● Mainly caused by the H1N1 strain which DNA was like the DNA Of influenza which affected the whole world from 1946 till 1957, as in 1957 H1N1 was replaced by a new strain H2N2, first appearing in northern China and then spreading through Russia.
● It was isolated in northern China, isolated in embryonated eggs out of 76 patients(78%)with serologically confirmed infection of influenza 1977 virus and caused rapid spread, and epidemic disease in children.
● Specimens were collected at 4:6 days from the peak of illness.
● Lately, there was red influenza or Russian influenza (called that because its first appearance was reported in Russia) pronounced in November 1977 in Russia, it was isolated in Hong Kong from a 3 years old boy, who later died due to influenza pneumonia complicated with REYE SYNDROME.
● Influenza 1977 isolated from humans formed two groups based on their pathogenicity in mice.
● It caused the agglutination of erythrocytes of lab animals.
● At the start of 1978, the virus spread all over the world, so the vaccine for influenza in 1977 was produced in 1978.
● Appeared mainly at a young age, and it was severe in chronic illness in those over 64 years old.
● In 1978 they expected it would be predominant but there were different strains.
● It caused the death of about 700.000 people all over the world.
● There were many studies to detect its cause if it was caused by live vaccine escape or by lab accident.
● According to studies published in the New England journal of medicine influenza 1977 was caused by accidental release from laboratory sources, as the live attenuated influenza virus research was extensive at this time.
● Now many virologists believe that in the 1950s there was influenza virus stored in a laboratory freezer in China and it was released into the environment in 1977, the time virus circulated and continued to change its genome from year to year, this resulted in two different types of influenza one discovered from Russian flu epidemic (type H1N1)and the other from Hong Kong flu epidemic 1968.
Transmission of influenza 1977 :
● The virus spread from human to human in the population.
● It is transmitted through the air by coughs or sneezes in mammals and creates aerosols containing viruses.
● Healthy people can be affected by direct methods from aerosols or indirectly by touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
● The swine influenza virus possesses a viral surface protein which is called hemagglutinin HA to people who suffer from a lack of immunity.
Clinical signs of influenza 1977:
● The incubation period(person between the entrance of virus till the appearance of signs) of the virus is about 1:4 days.
● It appears between groups of students as an asymptomatic infection.
● Signs started with a runny nose, congestion of the upper respiratory system.
● Headache in front of the head and eyes caused discomfort in the eye.
● On the second day, there was a fever.
● After that virus invaded the bloodstream it affected the respiratory system.
● Severe muscle pain is caused due to the invasion of the virus to muscle, causing an inability to move muscles.
● Affected the upper tract of the lung and caused a non-productive, dry cough with white sputum and caused sore throat.
● May cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
● In general, there was fatigue and Weakness.
● And it caused severe complications as
1- Renal failure.
2- Increase liver enzymes.
4- gastrointestinal manifestations.
Post mortem signs :
1-Reactive hemophagocytic syndrome.
2- Extensive necrosis.
3- Diffuse alveolar damage with interstitial fibrosis.
4- Acute renal tubular necrosis.
5- Necrosis of the hepatic central lobe.
6- Increase levels of cytokinesis.
Outbreaks of influenza 1977:
● In the United States, Outbreaks appeared in military recruits and school populations in mid-January, so it was not considered a true pandemic, and this forced school closure in Southeast texts for a week.
● In Bridge City, they closed the school and told students to return on valentine's day.
● The closure to decrease the number of victims in schools between students.
● The peak of outbreaks was mainly in the fall and winter of 1978 all over the world.
● It took the lives of about 700.000 people all over the world, most of them young.
● People more than 25 years in this time were lucky due to their first exposure to the h1n1 virus and their bodies formed immunity against this strain.
Immune system roles against Influenza virus :
● First, body temperature increases trying to kill the virus.
● Due to increased temperature episodes of shaking chills appear.
● Relief doesn't come quickly and symptoms remain for 72 hours
● You need about 3:5 days to feel well.
Influenza 1977 Vaccination:
● There was late production of the vaccine due to lack of lab and mutation of influenza virus so the vaccine should change every year and scientists investigating the genetic makeup could not be transmitted to humans.
● In 1978 scientists developed the first trivalent vaccine for the H1N1 strain.
● There was a Russian flu vaccine and it was expected to protect against other strains such as Brazilian flu, but the protection was uncertain.
● The vaccine was completed at the end of November to be effective.
● Vaccinated people reached at the end of November about 600.000 persons.
● Decrease the number of victims by the production of vaccines.
How can we prevent influenza now?
● People who suffer from the immune disease, young children, and pregnant women are more affected by influenza.
● Vaccination against Influenza every year is an effective way for the prevention of flu.
● Avoiding close contact with I'll people helps in decreasing flu.
● Covering of sneezing and coughs.
● If you feel unwell you should see the doctor prescribe antiviral medication to decrease symptoms.