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Too many people, in my opinion too is eager to screan out "Are you completely clueless? Don't you know that ..."
The last week, the victims of such attacks have been those referring to the Corona virus attack as a "flu". "What a fool you are - the Corona thing is NOT a flu!"¨
I didn't know that myself until looked it up in Wikipedia (however reliable that source is ...), learnig of the four classes of "influenza viruses" (or "viri", for those with a classical education). What Wikipedia did NOT explain is why these four classes of viri has been elevated to the sole position of influenzing our health. With a "z". Because the list of symptoms of being influenced (with a "c") by Corona viruses, or a crowd of others, is so similar that even a doctor could not off hand tell that "These are Corona symptom, not influenza symptoms".
I fully understand that influenza is caused by a specific group of viri. What I don't understand is why the effect of this virus group on human health is separate out and labeled "influenza", when other virus groups have very much of the same effects, which are not called "influenza".
Could anyone explain this to a person with next to nothing background in medical theory?
Hopefully with something more informative than "... because they are causes by viri with other signatures"!
You've basically defined it above - influenza is a disease caused by the influenza virus, just as smallpox is caused by the smallpox virus, etc. While coronaviruses lead to similar symptoms, the coronaviruses aren't related to the influenza virus. Therefore, it's not an influenza.
So, basically it's just a definition issue. Disease was defined as being caused by these organisms; this isn't caused by those organisms, therefore, "something else".
To muddy the waters further, the "common cold" is caused by a whack of virus types, including coronaviruses.
Yes, influenza is causes by influenzsa viruses. Wikiepedia told me that.
You could say the same about fevers "You silly fool - that's not an xxx fever, it is an yyy fever, don't you know?"
Sure you could give every source of fever its name. If the symptoms are the same, and the treatemnent (or lack of treatment) is the same, it is sort of understandable that common man views it as the same, isn't it? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, then it is a duck. At least in the view of common man.
It is a lot more comforting to hear that "Well ... we drew a dividing line between flu and non-flu viruses; it was kind of arbitrary and we could, in principle, have included a larger group", compared to "You silly fool - don't you even know the difference between flu and non-flu viruses??".
The word influenza, however, wasn’t used to describe a disease until many centuries later. In 1357, people called an epidemic in Florence, Italy influenza di freddo, which translates to “cold influence,” referring to the disease’s possible cause.
In 1414, French chroniclers used similar terms to describe an epidemic that affected up to 100,000 people in Paris. They said it originated from vent puant et tout plein de froidure, or a “smelly and cold wind.”
Another fun part on that page;
Scientists later discovered that H. influenzae causes many types of infections—including pneumonia and meningitis—but not influenza.
I never learned to distinguish between common cold and the flu. I get flu-shots against the common cold for all I know.
Bastard Programmer from Hell
If you can't read my code, try converting it here[^]
"If you just follow the bacon Eddy, wherever it leads you, then you won't have to think about politics." -- Some Bell.
The common cold is a rhinovirus infection, flu an influenza virus.
"'Do what thou wilt...' is to bid Stars to shine, Vines to bear grapes, Water to seek its level; man is the only being in Nature that has striven to set himself at odds with himself."
Seems like you didn't understand the question. Let me make an analogy:
Lots of media, both printed and electronic, influences my political opinions. Then the political analysts start talking about the influenzing (with 'z') media. I learn that 'influenzing' media are TV, FB and Flickr. Newspapers, radio and email campains and others, are influencing media.
I ask around: What is the real difference between influencing and influenzing my political ideas?
The answer I get is essentially: Influencing is what you get from influencing media, influenzing you get from influenzing media.
Well, of course, but what set influenzing media apart from influencing media?
Influenzing media are those influenzing you, influencing media influences you, you silly fool!
Yes. Circle arguments work because circle arguments work. Therefore I am a silly fool to ask. It is a matter of definition. It is defined that way because it is defined that way.
Maybe, if you manage to get to the core it, you will learn that there is some academically defined detail setting TV, FB and Flickr apart from the others, such as the image/text ratio combined with the degree of interaction. Or something else. Of course these aspects are related to how the media affect my opinions, but why are those selected as criteria for creating this special group of 'influenzing' media? You could have groped by so many other criteria!
Same with the flu. A flu is caused by an influenza virus, and they are defined as influenza viruses because they cause a flu. That is the trivial, circular part. If the corona virus had been covered by the definition of an influenza virus, it would have caused a flu as well. The list of corona symptoms are very similar to the list of flu symptoms, so common man would find it quite natural.
Asking why the definition of influenza viruses cover those four (groups of) viruses, but not corona and others, is NOT to suggest that "doctors are idiots"!
You've totally lost me. Seems this entire thread is based on a typo; that someone somewhere typed z when they meant c. Influenzing doesn't seem to appear in any dictionary (which is what you'd expect, since it's not a word). Even typing it here, Chrome tells me I'm in error. So this whole post doesn't seem to mean anything... ?
Just because things have similar effects doesn't mean they're the same. A wolf will maul you to death as will a lion or a tiger. But a wolf is a canine, both lions and tigers are feline. You don't want to be locked in a room with either of them, but they're not the same. However to a lay person, trying to define the difference between felines and canines is non-trivial.
It was my deliberate attempt to illustrate how you could create what appears to common man to be an artificial, arbitrary grouping (such as influenza viru vs. non-influenza viri). Four virus-groups are defined as influenza, but to common man, selecting those four, not five or six, seems arbitrary.
So I created a similar artificial grouping of three classes of media, labeled the same way (with a 'z'), with no easily discernable charateristic to explain why those three media are referred to as 'influenzing'. I was hoping that you would see the analogy: To me, and lots of others, four viri that influences my health are grouped as influenza, but not the others. Why? Three media that influences my political views are grouped as influenzing media, but not the others. Why?
Is the group of influenza viri just as arbitrary and artificial as my artificial influenzing media group? Or is there something more fundamental, of significance to me, behind the influenza virus groups?
If you didn't see the analogy, if it didn't help you understand what my original question was about - too bad.
Others have indicated that the classification of virus groups as influenza and non-influenza is indeed arbitrary. Maybe not quite as arbitrary as my arbitrary classification of media, but those who defined the term could have made the definition narrower or broader than they did, without breaking rules of logic. So I guess my question has been properly answered ... unless someone make fierce objections to what has been said until now
However "flu" is not arbitrary and random. Influenza viruses belong to different genera in the family Orthomyxoviridae. If a virus belongs to a genus in a different family, it's not an influenza virus. If you study taxonomy you'll see that the differences between genera (and indeed between species within a genus) can often be more "apparent" than those between families. However there will be key identifying attributes that will have led to each species being classified in one genus or another. Occasionally (or often, in some orders!) further research leads to things being reclassified, or merged together, or split apart; taxonomy is very definitely not a static thing. Further, as science develops new ways of classifying things, (DNA sequencing for instance) the changes can sometimes be quite radical. Not, however, arbitrary. When "experts" describe the grouping of viruses into "influenza" or "not influenza", it's very likely that either those experts are medical doctors rather than taxonomists (and hence neither know nor need to know the criteria) or are taxonomists who know the differences but cannot explain them in layman's terms. There are, I'm sure, aspects of software development which to you are quite distinct, but that you would struggle to explain to a layman in a sentence or two.
Three of the genera within Orthomyxoviridae have names that start influenza but others don't. It's probably historical, and related to the reclassification processes mentioned above, that some are actually called influenza and others are not. Coronaviruses belong to a different family, Coronaviridae
Then again, the term "flu" has come to mean, in common parlance, a wide range of viruses that may not be influenza at all, and perhaps much of the "it isn't flu" response comes from conflating the common parlance term with the scientific definition.
Regardless of what it is or isn't, or what it's called, it's probably best avoided.
Maybe by asking different bunch of people ? we are not medical "persons" we're computer "persons"
Yeah, but if some "common housewife" looked up, say, a Linux Core Developers Forum with a question about what this "operating system" thing is, do you think that she would get an answer that makes any sense to her? Of course those Linux core developers would insist that the answer makes perfect sense, but I am not sure that the housewife would agree.
Similarly, if I went to some forum of virologists, they would probably give me an answer that would be totally greek (or maybe Latin) to me. Often, if you really are new to a field, you can get more help by first getting hold of some digested, simplified information than by going to the top experts.
same reason lions are called lions, and tigers, well tigers.
both will eat you, but you'd hope that the guy trying to get the attacking beast off you isn't the fella from the circus which his whip and chair if it's a tiger. (A picture of Sigfried & Roy would be the better choice.)
Flu shots don't fix corona, you'd want the doc to inject the correct magic juice in or not?
Last Visit: 30-May-20 12:51 Last Update: 30-May-20 12:51