Definition: A family of RNA-containing viruses about twice the size of the influenza viruses (Orthomyxoviridae) but similar to them in morphology. Virions are 150–300 nm in diameter, enveloped, ether sensitive, and contain RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Nucleocapsids are helical, considerably larger than those of the influenza viruses, and contain single-stranded unsegmented RNA. Four genera are recognized: Paramyxovirus, Morbillivirus, Rubulavirus, and Pneumovirus, all of which cause cell fusion and produce cytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusions. Diseases associated with these viruses include croup and other upper respiratory infections, measles, mumps, and pneumonia.
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