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Influenzavirus C

This genus has one species, influenza C virus, which infects humans, dogs and pigs, sometimes causing both severe illness and local epidemics. However, influenza C is less common than the other types and usually only causes mild disease in children. Flu due to the Type C species is rare compared to Types A or B, but can be severe and can cause local epidemics. Type C has 7 RNA segments and encodes 9 proteins, while Types A and B have 8 RNA segments and encode at least 10 proteins.

Because influenza virus A has an animal reservoir that contains all the known subtypes and can undergo antigenic shift, this type of influenza virus is capable of producing pandemics. Influenza viruses A and B also cause seasonal epidemics every year due to their ability to antigenic shift. Influenza virus C does not have this capability and it is not thought to be a significant concern for human health. Therefore, there are no vaccinations against influenza virus C.