A study in mice finds that a compound modelled on a protein found in bananas safely protects against multiple strains of the influenza virus.

What keeps most infectious disease researchers up at night aren’t infamous viruses like Ebola. Instead, influenza, commonly known as the flu, continues to be a clear and present danger to humanity.

“Influenza is a huge problem, as the virus sickens or kills millions of people each year,” says David Markovitz, M.D., professor of internal medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Michigan Medicine. “A new pandemic along the lines of the 1918 Spanish flu has the potential to kill millions here and abroad.”

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