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October 1980

Influenza C Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

Influenza Research Center Department of Microbiology and Immunology Baylor College of Medicine 1200 Moursund Ave Houston, TX 77030

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(10):1278. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330210026016

Studies of antibody prevalence indicate that infection with influenza C virus is common; the assumption has been made that infection is usually accompanied by mild upper respiratory tract illness.1 Dykes and associates, as reported in this issue (see p 1295), found that illness associated with influenza C infection could not be distinguished clinically from illness in comparable subjects infected with influenza A (H1N1) viruses. Although the number of subjects in this comparison was small, it is appropriate to question the assumption that influenza C illness is usually negligible. Most virus diagnostic laboratories do not process specimens optimally for identification of influenza C virus. Primary isolation has been accomplished only in the amniotic cavity of embryonated hens' eggs; however, the conditions for dependable identification are different from those recommended for influenza A and B viruses.2 For influenza C virus, the eggs should be incubated for five days rather than