The Bird Flu is an Influenza Type A virus. The outer layer of a viral particle is called its “capsid” or coat. The coat contains two major glycoprotein types—specifically hemagglutinin, symbolized H, and neuraminidase, N. One of the deadliest varieties of bird flu is H5N1, the five meaning the fifth variety of hemagglutinin. Part of the reason it is so dangerous is the infrequency with which it crosses the species boundary from bird to human—little immunity to it exists in the host. Such potential danger invites attack by bio-terrorists. Keep up-to-date in your understanding of avian or bird flu by reading technical, yet understandable articles written by Bright Hub contributors.
Virus (gold) in MDCK (green)
CDC/ Courtesy of Cynthia Goldsmith, Jacqueline Katz, and Sharif R. Zaki, 1997
|Anatomy of a Pandemic Flu Virus
Periodically flu pandemics strike, causing severe illness and sometimes death. Bird flu and swine flu make international headlines when they go on the attack. Understanding just how...
Zoonotic Influenza: Crossing the Species Barrier
How could swine flu or bird flu become transmissible from human to human? Get the facts on influenza zoonosis; the spread of influenza across the species barrier....
|Causes of the 1918 Flu Epidemic
The 1918 flu virus devastated the world, killing between 20 million and 50 million people. Its lethal nature caused more deaths than the bombs and bullets of World War 1. Scientists...
The Genetics of the 2009 Swine Flu (S-OIV)
The 2009 outbreak of swine flu, also called swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV), caused an international scramble to analyze the genes of the new virus. Understanding S-OIV...