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様々なインフルエンザウィルスの種類と特徴

医者

インフルエンザウィルスには3つの種類があります。インフルエンザウィルスの種類は学問的に構造が異なるというだけではなく、感染してしまった時の症状などにも違いが生じます。インフルエンザウィルスの種類について理解を深めておくことは子供の保育などの際にとても有益ということができます。本稿では各種インフルエンザウィルスの種類の特徴についてまとめています。

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インフルエンザウィルスの種類は3種類

医師

インフルエンザウィルスには、3つの種類があります。つまり、インフルエンザA型・インフルエンザB型・インフルエンザC型の3種類です。

インフルエンザは空気が乾いていて冷たい空気が続く冬に流行しますが、このいずれかの種類(あるいはその混合)でインフルエンザウィルスが空気中を漂い、人に感染していくことになります。

インフルエンザウィルスの種類は、構造的にはその内部のタンパク質の違いによって分類がされていますが、実際には流行のしやすさや感染対象(例えば、インフルエンザC型は幼児に感染することが多いなど)などによって種類を特徴付けることができます。

以下ではそれぞれの種類のインフルエンザウィルスの特徴について見ていきたいと思います。

インフルエンザウィルスA型の特徴

インフルエンザウィルスの種類の中でもっとも流行するケースが多い種類がインフルエンザA型です。インフルエンザA型は毎年流行するタイプの種類であるとともに、年によっては大流行を起こす種類のインフルエンザウィルスです。インフルエンザウィルス全体の約60パーセントを占めるのがインフルエンザA型です。また時折話題となる鳥インフルエンザもウィルスの種類としてはA型に分類されます。

インフルエンザA型が他の種類と大きく異なる点として、種類の亜流が存在するという点を挙げることができます。つまり、インフルエンザA型は表面の抗原性の違いによって様々な種類のものと変化します。そのため、完全に対応することは困難ということになります。

インフルエンザA型にかかってしまった場合には、高齢者の方や幼児などは細菌性の肺炎など重い合併症を引き起こすことがあります。インフルエンザA型は毎年流行する種類のものですが、決して侮ることなく予防接種などを受けて対処することが大切となります。
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インフルエンザB型の特徴

次に、インフルエンザの種類として、インフルエンザB型があります。インフルエンザB型の特徴としては以下のような点を挙げることができます。

まず、インフルエンザB型はA型に比べて、流行が散発的・小規模であることがその種類の特徴です。インフルエンザB型はあまり大規模に流行することは少なく、2年に1度程度流行する傾向です。

また、2種類の系統がありますが、インフルエンザA型のような亜流は存在しません。

症状としてもインフルエンザA型よりも軽い症状で済む場合が多いということもひとつの特徴です(ただし、ごくまれにインフルエンザ脳症などにつながることがありえますので、
安心できるというわけではありません。)

インフルエンザC型の特徴

最後にインフルエンザC型の特徴ですが、インフルエンザC型は、単発的に大流行を起こすことはない種類です。また、ほとんどが5歳以下の小児に感染すること、冬に限らずどの季節でも感染・発症することがある種類であることが大きな特徴です。

つまり、冬以外でも小児はC型という種類のインフルエンザにはかかることがあるということになります。インフルエンザV型にかかった幼児は鼻風邪のような症状を起こし、鼻水が多く出ます。単なる風邪と思って病院へ連れて行ったらインフルエンザ出会ったということもありえます。小さな子供の兄弟がおられるような場合には、子供同士の感染にも注意したいタイプのインフルエンザです。

インフルエンザC型は亜流は存在せず、一度かかってしまうと、二度とかかることはほぼないのがA型などと比較した場合の特徴ということができます。

このようにインフルエンザの種類にはA型・B型・C型の3種類があることになります。
いずれの種類であっても、インフルエンザを予防するためにはうがいと手洗いをしっかりとされて外出時にはマスクを着用されることなどがとても大切となります。

ユニチャーム ソフトーク 超立体マスク  150枚入
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まとめ:インフルエンザの種類と特徴のまとめ

以上、本文で述べましたインフルエンザの種類についてまとめますと以下のようになります。

  • インフルエンザA型-毎年流行する種類。時に大流行を起こす。インフルエンザA型は多数の亜流が存在し、完全に事前に対応することは難しい。感染すると細菌性の肺炎などといった重い合併症を引き起こす可能性があり、注意が必要。
  • インフルエンザB型-インフルエンザA型ほど大流行はしない。2年に一度程度の流行。2系統があるものの、亜流は存在しない。比較的症状は軽いものの、ケースによっては脳症などを引き起こすこともあり、油断はできない
  • インフルエンザC型-ほとんどが5歳以下の幼児がかかること、季節に関係なく感染・発症すること、亜流は存在しないこと、鼻風邪のような症状を表すことなどが特徴

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Check Also

考える

症状が似ているインフルエンザと扁桃腺炎を見分けるポイント

  インフルエンザと症状のよく …

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