Influenza virus is classified in three genera (A, B, C) and belongs to the family of Orthomyxoviridae. It is enveloped and has a spherical shape.
Influenza viruses trigger influenza and respiratory infections respectively. The symptoms depend on the virus genus (A and B severe courses, C less severe courses). Severe influenza can cause primary viral pneumonia. Infections can be triggered by seasonal and zoonotic influenza viruses.
Influenza viruses of the A and B genera may elicit epidemics and pandemics periodically. Zoonotic infections, for example avian or swine flu, are caused by influenza A viruses. So far, the avian and porcine subtypes of the influenza A viruses have not well adapted to humans. However, they may be transmitted to humans when having close contact with infected, ill or dead animals.
Transmission mainly occurs via droplets or particles in the air.
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Virucidal against enveloped viruses
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