Catalyzes the removal of terminal sialic acid residues from viral and cellular glycoconjugates. Cleaves off the terminal sialic acids on the glycosylated HA during virus budding to facilitate virus release. Additionally helps virus spread through the circulation by further removing sialic acids from the cell surface. These cleavages prevent self-aggregation and ensure the efficient spread of the progeny virus from cell to cell. Otherwise, infection would be limited to one round of replication. Described as a receptor-destroying enzyme because it cleaves a terminal sialic acid from the cellular receptors. May facilitate viral invasion of the upper airways by cleaving the sialic acid moities on the mucin of the airway epithelial cells (By similarity).