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
> 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