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Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the internal cross-sectional structural morphology of a rabies virion (green, with arrow pointing to it) in this central nervous system tissue specimen. The virion is adjacent to a Negri body, which is pathognomonic in the positive diagnosis for Rabies. The virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death. Rabies virus belongs to the order Mononegavirales, viruses with a non-segmented, negative-sense single-stranded RNA ((-) ssRNA) genomes. Within this group, viruses with a distinct bullet shape are classified in the Rhabdoviridae family, which includes at least three genera of animal viruses, Lyssavirus, Ephemerovirus, and Vesiculovirus. The genus Lyssavirus includes rabies virus, Lagos bat, Mokola virus, Duvenhage virus, European bat virus 1 & 2 and Australian bat virus. The number of rabies-related human deaths in the United States has declined from.
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