DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Influenza viruses. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of influenza (flu) viruses. The flu virus belongs to the orthomyxovirus group of viruses which have an affinity for mucus. It contains a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material inside a protein coat or capsid. Spikes form a fringe (green) around the capsid and allow the virus to attach to its host cell. Influenza is an infection of the respiratory tract. It causes a fever, aching muscles, a sore throat and weakness. Mutant strains of influenza sometimes appear and can cause fatal epidemics. Magnification unknown.
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