False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM, negatively stained) of particles of the influenza virus. The influenza virus belongs to the orthomyxovirus class of RNA viruses (the influenza viruses group), all of which possess an affinity for mucous. Spikes projecting from the viral envelopes become attached to receptors on the surface of the host cells of the respiratory epithelium - the mechanism of the first stage of infection. Influenza is usually short-lived & generally not serious, although virus-induced pneumonia or secondary bacterial infection can prove fatal. Magnification: x20,000 at 35mm size, x38,000 at 6x4.5cm size. Pale green/light brown colouring.
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