Influenza virus A and B test kit, Slough, England, 1986
Immunofluorescence test kits detected influenza virus type A and B in clinical specimens and cell cultures. Type A and B are the commonest forms of influenza. ‘Immunofluorescence’ is a technique whereby any A or B type virus present glows a bright apple green colour when viewed under fluorescent light. This allows easy identification. Virus type A is found in animals and species of birds. Type B is found only in humans and seals. Both types can cause severe respiratory disease in humans. This may occur as small local outbreaks or sometimes worldwide epidemics. Influenza can vary from person to person from mild respiratory difficulty to viral pneumonia. Viral pneumonia can lead to death, particularly in the elderly or those with underlying health problems.
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A highly contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system. Common symptoms of the disease are chills and fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. In more serious cases, influenza may cause pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Glossary: influenza test kit