Khan Academy: Learn all about the flu, flu vaccines and how to prevent it!

Well diagramed lecture in modules – by the wonderful Khan Academy!  Personally, I’m not sure flu vaccines work, since they change so quickly.  But YOU decide what’s right for you!

Influenza pathology

The flu is caused and spread by a virus called influenza, which has proteins on its outer coat (think of a person wearing a jacket) called Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase. The flu uses these proteins to enter and exit cells, and we actually name these proteins H and N (easy to remember) and number them to keep track of all the different types that we have found. The flu is a sneaky little bugger though, and can avoid our immune system by making subtle genetic mutations over time (drift) or shuffling up its genetic material completely (shift)!

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