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Influenza viruses

Influenza viruses

M055/0407

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Credit

HYBRID MEDICAL ANIMATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HYBRID MEDICAL ANIMATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Influenza viruses. Computer artwork of type-A influenza viruses (small, spiked particles in image) attacking cells lining the trachea (windpipe). The cells have hair-like cilia which normally filter foreign particles from the air. They can however become clogged and functionless when many viruses accumulate. This causes mucus, dead cells and foreign matter to accumulate. An influenza virus has a spiked protein surface that allows it to attach to its host cell. Influenza is an infection of the respiratory tract. It causes fever, aching muscles, a sore throat and weakness. New strains of the virus develop rapidly, and can cause epidemics.

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