DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Influenza virus. Coloured Transmission Electron Micrograph (TEM) of 3 influenza (flu) viruses. Each virus is made up of a core of RNA-genetic material (red) surrounded by a spiked protein envelope (green). The tiny external spikes stick to host cells when the virus invades the body. The virus has an affinity for mucus, and is spread in droplets from coughs or sneezes. These viruses belong to the orthomyxovirus group. Infection is usually short-lived. However, the spikes on the virus can change structure to create a new strain of influenza that may spread as an epidemic. Magnification: x183,000 at 6x4.5cm size.
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