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Ian A. York york at mbcrr.dfci.harvard.edu
Mon Jul 10 14:52:40 EST 1995

In article <3trt83$1mb at tusk.lm.com> darcoda at telerama.lm.com (S. Frog) writes:
>	Is the flu a retrovirus?

No, it's an orthomyxovirus.  Completely unrelated to the retroviridae.  

>	If it isn't a retrovirus, do I have a faulty definition of what a 
>retrovirus is?

Obviously so.  

>	Lastly, is it true that the flu has only been around for like a 
>hunred years or so?  And that it mutated from something else, which is 
>why human has so little resistence to it when the influenza epidemic 
>roared through just after world war I?

It's not true.  However, it is true that influenza viruses are very good 
at recombining between different strains of influenza viruses to produce 
antigenically different versions, which may be more (or differently) 
virulent than either 'parent' strain.

Any good introductory virology text will have much more information on this.

Ian York   (york at mbcrr.harvard.edu)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston MA 02115
Phone (617)-632-3921     Fax  (617)-632-2627

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