November 20, If you planned to sabotage a factory, a recon trip through the premises would probably be much more useful than just peeping in at the windows. Scientists looking to understand - and potentially thwart - the influenza virus have now gone from a similar window-based view to the full factory tour, thanks to the first complete structure of one of the flu virus' key machines. Published today in two papers in Nature , the work could prove instrumental in designing new drugs to treat serious flu infections and combat flu pandemics.
Influenza viruses also leave patients at risk of secondary bacterial infections. Those who died usually but not always had underlying health problems, such as asthma or other respiratory ailments, morbid obesity or diabetes. Pregnant women were also at higher risk.
Influenza , commonly known as the flu , is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of viral spread. Influenza spreads around the world in yearly outbreaks , resulting in about three to five million cases of severe illness and about , to , deaths. Symptoms of influenza can start quite suddenly one to two days after infection.