Overview of the Respiratory System
Avian Influenzas: The Viruses
Influenzas, commonly referred to as "the flu," are contagious diseases caused by influenza viruses, types A, B, or C. Influenza Type A viruses, with varying degrees of virulence, can infect humans, birds, pigs, horses, and other animals. Type B influenza viruses normally infect only humans, but have not caused pandemics (global outbreaks of disease). Type C influenza viruses cause only mild illness in humans.
Influenza A viruses are named by the combination of two proteins, Hemagglutinin (H) and Neuraminidase (N), located on the surface of the virus. There are 15 subtypes of HA and 9 subtypes of NA, presenting the possibility of unique 135 combinations.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2005). Information about influenza pandemics. Retrieved 10-18-2005 from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/pandemics.htm
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2005). PandemicFlu.gov. Retrieved 11-02-2005 from http://pandemicflu.gov/
- World Health Organization. (2004). Avian Influenza. Retrieved 10-19-2005 from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/avian_influenza/en/index.html
- Avian Influenza Virus, ID #8038. (2005). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 11-02-2005 from http://phil.cdc.gov/Phil/home.asp
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