Description: negative sense, single-stranded RNA, enveloped, 8 segments


Power: VERY POWERFUL! So deadly that it resulted in over 50 million deaths around the world in 1918. The key to this virus’s power lies in the fact that it underwent antigenic shift. Every once in a while genomic segments from one strain of Influenza A virus combine with genomic segments from another strain and form a new strain that no one has ever been exposed to. This new strain will have a different neurominidase and hemagglutinin combination than the other circulating forms of Influenza A virus. In the case of Influenza A H1N1 virus, the hemagglutinin 1 and neurominidase 1 combination was especially deadly when it first arose in the winter of 1918. Some would even say that this little guy had the power to defeat the world’s most powerful armies.


Offenses: Antigenic drift occurs with every epidemic of Influenza A so that immunity developed to one infection does not necessarily confer immunity to all infections of the same strain. However, if someone survives infection with H1N1 and, subsequently, gets re-infected that person will experience much less severe symptoms than if it were their first infection.


Defenses: Using predictions based on the type of virus that occurred in late infections of the previous epidemic, scientists are able develop

a vaccine for the next seasonal outbreak. The current vaccines

contain three influenza viruses, representing one of the three

groups of viruses circulating among people. One of the strains

is Influenza A H1N1 and the other two are A H3N2 and

an Influenza B.


Strategy: Infect humans during the autumn/winter months when they are most likely to get infected. If you feel like killing the opponent, make sure to target young children and the elderly. To be even more deadly, try recruiting your bacterial friend

Streptococcus pneumoniae.


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Influenza A H1N1 Virus

(Family Orthomyxoviridae)