New Latin, from Greek myxa + New Latin virus virus; from its affinity for certain mucins
First Known Use: 1955
Medical Definition of MYXOVIRUS
: any of the viruses now classified in the families Orthomyxoviridae and Paramyxoviridae that were formerly included in a now rejected family (Myxoviridae)
Any of a group of viruses that are agents of influenza and can cause the common cold, mumps, and measles in humans, canine distemper, rinderpest in cattle, and Newcastle disease in fowl. The virus particle is encased in a fatty membrane, variable in shape from spheroidal to threadlike, and studded with spikelike protein projections; it contains RNA. These viruses react with a protein on the surface of red blood cells; many of them cause red blood cells to clump together.