Your Health October 21, 2013 Attack of the flu - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health October 21, 2013 Attack of the flu

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Birmingham, AL -

    Scientists have figured out how the flu attacks so many people and why you may experience it more than once in a season.
     Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research found the flu virus attacks cells of the immune system known as memory B cells.  These cells produce antibodies that can bind to the virus and neutralize it.
   However, the flu virus attacks these memory B cells first to disrupt antibody production, allowing it to replicate more efficiently and prevent the immune system from mounting a second defense.
      They say the virus targets memory cells in the lung, which allows infection to be established -- even if the immune system has seen this flu before.
      Researchers add this to the growing list of ways that the flu virus has to establish infection.

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