[in-floo-en-zuh] /ˌɪn fluˈɛn zə/

Pathology. an acute, commonly epidemic disease, occurring in several forms, caused by numerous rapidly mutating viral strains and characterized by respiratory symptoms and general prostration.
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Veterinary Pathology. an acute, contagious disease occurring in horses and swine, characterized by fever, depression, and catarrhal inflammations of the eyes, nasal passages, and bronchi, and caused by a virus.
a highly contagious and often epidemic viral disease characterized by fever, prostration, muscular aches and pains, and inflammation of the respiratory passages Also called grippe, (informal) flu

1743, borrowed during an outbreak of the disease in Europe, from Italian influenza “influenza, epidemic,” originally “visitation, influence (of the stars),” from Medieval Latin influentia (see influence). Used in Italian for diseases since at least 1504 (cf. influenza di febbre scarlattina “scarlet fever”) on notion of astral or occult influence. The 1743 outbreak began in Italy. Often applied since mid-19c. to severe colds.

influenza in·flu·en·za (ĭn’flōō-ěn’zə)
An acute contagious viral infection, commonly occurring in epidemics or pandemics, and characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract and by the sudden onset, fever, chills, muscular pain, headache, and severe prostration. Also called grippe.
in’flu·en’zal adj.
A highly contagious infectious disease that is caused by any of various viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae and is characterized by fever, respiratory symptoms, fatigue, and muscle pain. It commonly occurs in epidemics, one of which killed 20 million people between 1917 and 1919.

Our Living Language : Since ancient times, influenza has periodically swept the world. Until recently, people could not tell how this illness, which we call the flu, could spread so widely. Before people knew that organisms cause disease, they thought the stars influenced the spread of influenza. Influenza comes ultimately from the Latin word influentia, meaning “influence of the stars.” Today, however, the stars are no longer blamed for the flu. Inhaling influenza viruses causes the spread of the illness.

influenza [(in-flooh-en-zuh)]

Commonly called the flu; an acute and infectious disease of the respiratory system caused by a virus and characterized by fever, muscle pain, headache, and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract.

Read Also:

  • Influenza a

    influenza A n. Influenza caused by infection with a strain of influenza virus type A.

  • Influenza b

    influenza B n. Influenza caused by infection with influenza virus type B.

  • Influenzal pneumonia

    influenzal pneumonia n.

  • Influenza c

    influenza C n. Influenza caused by infection with a strain of influenza virus type C.

  • Influenza virus

    influenza virus n. Any of three viruses of the genus Influenzavirus designated type A, type B, and type C, that cause influenza and influenzalike infections.

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