Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

The taming of polio and the challenge of the flu

The now nearly global eradication of polio through vaccination is a testimonial to the enlightenment of humans dedicated to the alleviation of human disease. In the early 20th century, hundreds of thousands of people are ...

Medications

New approach could lead to a lifetime flu vaccine

If the virus that causes flu were an ice cream cone, then the yearly vaccine teaches the immune system to recognize just the scoop – chocolate one year, strawberry the next. As the virus changes each year, so too must the ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How the flu vaccine fails

Influenza is ubiquitous. Every fall, we line up to get our flu shots with the hope that we will be protected from the virus that infects 10 to 20 percent of people worldwide each year. But some years, the vaccine is less ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

When's the best time to get your flu shot?

When most of us get the flu, we spend three or four days on the couch feeling miserable, then we bounce back pretty quickly. But others have more severe symptoms and need to be hospitalised because they're at risk of life-threatening ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Antibodies from earlier exposures affect response to new flu strains

We are repeatedly exposed to the influenza virus via infections, vaccinations and our communal environments. The annual flu shot is believed to be the best line of defense, and doctors recommend vaccinations every year because ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bat influenza viruses could infect humans

Bats don't only carry the deadly Ebola virus, but are also a reservoir for a new type of influenza virus. These newly discovered flu viruses could potentially also attack the cells of humans and livestock, researchers at ...

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Orthomyxoviridae

Influenzavirus A Influenzavirus B Influenzavirus C Isavirus Thogotovirus

The Orthomyxoviridae (orthos, Greek for "straight"; myxa, Greek for "mucus") are a family of RNA viruses that includes five genera: Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, Influenzavirus C, Isavirus and Thogotovirus. The first three genera contain viruses that cause influenza in vertebrates, including birds (see also avian influenza), humans, and other mammals. Isaviruses infect salmon; thogotoviruses infect vertebrates and invertebrates, such as mosquitoes and sea lice.

The three genera of Influenzavirus, which are identified by antigenic differences in their nucleoprotein and matrix protein infect vertebrates as follows:

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