CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a single virion (particle) 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 envelope (just visible here) 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 and generally not serious, although virus-induced pneumonia or secondary bacterial infection can prove fatal. Magnification: x400,000 at 6x7cm size.
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