Viruses are very tiny particles full of proteins and genetic material. And they have a job to do: infect our bodies/cells and make lots and lots of copies of themselves. The influenza virus in particular targets our lungs, nose, and throat. Then, it invades our cells, sets up shop, and goes to town making millions of copies of itself.
Soon millions of viral clones are attacking the body, leaving you feeling achy, tired, and just plain sick. But, after a while our bodies figure out they are under attack and the immune system runs to the rescue. Antibodies are created and the virus is banished, leaving the immune system with the memory to be able to attack it should it ever enter the body again.
But, the influenza virus is different from a lot of viruses in that it mutates and changes over the years, making it unrecognizable to our immune systems. Therefore, the virus can infect your body many times and leave you feeling sick over and over and over again.
So what’s going on here that’s different from other viruses?