Scientists just discovered a crazy new mutant virus!
We’ve known for years that some poor unfortunate souls each year get infected with multiple respiratory viruses at the same time, whichyt666 can lead to worse outcomes like viral pneumonia, but researchers from Glasgow just took a close look at what ACTUALLY happens in these combo patients, and the results were just a bit terrifying.
They infected human lung cells with both Influenza and RSV, and found that, rather than each virus just doing its own thing, the two actually FUSE together and form a new MUTANT virus, with an RSV trunk and weird influenza tentacles. This mutant was then able to infect neighboring cells, even in the presence of influenza antibodies.
This was in a lab, so we don’t really know if this is exactly what happens in humans, but the fact that this is even possible, with two genetically unrelated viruses, has pretty scary implications.