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Influenza A viruses

Influenza A viruses

M055/0239

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Credit

CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CDC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Influenza A viruses. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of influenza type A viruses. Influenza A is a contagious orthomyxovirus, more virulent than influenza type B. The shape of these viruses is variable. The spikes (pale purple) on the protein coat of the viruses 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. Influenza symptoms include fevers, chills and headaches. The virus spikes may change structure to create new influenza strains that can spread as an epidemic. Magnification unknown.

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