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When was the flu virus first discovered?

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As medical discoveries go, influenza viruses were late to be isolated, mostly because of their sub-microscopic size.

In 1901 the hint of the existence of these infectious agents was found when it was proved that the "germ" was not bacteria by discovering that it passed right through a filter that would have trapped bacteria. The poultry virus that was called "fowl plague" at the time was not filtered out by the Chamberland filters like bacteria would have been, so it was known that something smaller was what caused the fowl flu.

In 1931 Richard Shope found the family of viruses that caused the flu in pigs, and the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses that he discovered was named as the cause of the influenza.

In 1933 Patrick Laidlaw and a group at the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom were able to isolate the flu virus from humans. But much was still to be known about these microbes.

Things started advancing more in the discoveries in 1935 when the first crystallized virus, that became known as the tobacco mosaic virus, was isolated by Wendell Stanley. His studies allowed much more to be known about viruses and their nature, including their non-cellular qualities.
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