This negative-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicts the ultrastructural details of a number of influenza virus particles, or virions. A member of the taxonomic family Orthomyxoviridae
, the influenza virus is a single-stranded RNA organism
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent this illness is by getting a flu vaccination each fall.
Every year in the United States, on average:
- 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu
- more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and
- about 36,000 people die from flu. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. See PHIL 10072 for a colorized version of this image.