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Is there a difference between flu viruses a, b, and c?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: Yes

Influenza a, b & c are genetically distinct viruses.
Infection with a or b produces near identical diseases which are treated similarly.Influenza c is not a clinically important virus & causes mild disease rarely.Influenza a - due to a higher likelihood of genetic shifting & 'mixing' in bird & swine - is the only influenza virus which causes pandemics.Yearly influenza vaccine protects against a & b.

In brief: Yes

Influenza a, b & c are genetically distinct viruses.
Infection with a or b produces near identical diseases which are treated similarly.Influenza c is not a clinically important virus & causes mild disease rarely.Influenza a - due to a higher likelihood of genetic shifting & 'mixing' in bird & swine - is the only influenza virus which causes pandemics.Yearly influenza vaccine protects against a & b.
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
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