Introduction and objective:
For centuries influenza has been one of the most prevalent viral infectious diseases and still remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in many regions of the world, including Poland. The aim of the study was presentation of the scope of problems concerning influenza virus infections and the available options for controlling the disease.

Review methods:
The publication was prepared based on a literature review in scientific information databases and on the websites of organizations operating in the field of public health. As part of the issue analysis, a systematic search was performed of current scientific data concerning the described problem.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
Four types of influenza virus are distinguished: A, B, C and D. Infections in humans are most often caused by influenza A and B. The best recognized virus is influenza A, which is characterized by high antigenic and genetic variability and zoonotic potential. Influenza A virus is responsible for local epidemics and pandemics and meets all the criteria of a pathogen that can cause a catastrophic biological threat on a global scale. Modern medicine has the ability to control influenza through protective vaccinations with multivalent vaccines and antiviral drugs, which include neuraminidase inhibitors and viral polymerase inhibitors.

Influenza is a major public health risk problem. The actual risk of a global epidemic in the future forces to undertake transdisciplinary and integrated actions striving at an effective immunoprophylaxis of influenza virus infections, as well as treatment of the disease and its complications. A global epidemic may go beyond the capabilities of individual countries. The development of a vaccine against pandemic influenza and its mass production in a short time has the utmost priority.

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