Influenza is a viral infection that affects mainly the nose, throat, bronchi, and occasionally the lungs. Infection usually lasts for about a week, and is characterized by sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headache and severe malaise, non-productive cough, sore throat and rhinitis.
The virus is transmitted easily via droplets and small particles produced when infected people cough or sneeze. Influenza tends to spread rapidly in seasonal epidemics.
Most infected people recover within one to two weeks without requiring medical treatment. However, in the very young, the elderly, and those with other serious medical conditions, infection can lead to severe complications of the underlying condition, pneumonia and death.
 Twilight Mentions
In the Twilight Saga, it is the Spanish Influenza that kills Edward Cullen's mother and father and almost kills him. Carlisle was looking after them as their doctor when Elizabeth Masen, Edward's mother, demands Carlisle to save Edward, telling him that he must do what others cannot to save him. This shook Carlisle deeply, and he agreed to Elizabeth's request, and she died a few hours after making the demand. Carlisle realised that Edward was about to die, and changed him into a vampire, releasing him from the disease.
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