Many people are aware of the facts about viruses; what they are, how they spread, and why they can be dangerous. They are also well-aware of the fact that there is currently a large and growing number of strains of different viruses out there, which continues to increase the possibility of an outbreak. It seems that more people know little about the causes and symptoms of viruses than they do about most other health problems. This article will provide a simple overview of viruses to help educate you.
Viruses are essentially tiny parasites, usually far smaller than typical bacteria. They lack the ability to survive and reproduce without a host body, thus making them a threat to the safety of humans and domestic animals. Widespread occurrences of death and disease have certainly reinforced this reputation. The recent outbreak of AIDS in Africa and the recent 2021 H1N1 pandemic (an internationally recognized, albeit unlikely, pandemic) have both further solidified the virus’ infamy. In addition to spreading from person to person through contact, viruses can be transmitted from animals to humans through the air or via infected fluids.
To break down the virus into its various forms, it must enter and multiply within living cells. This process happens very quickly, though, without warning. In fact, even the slightest changes within the DNA makeup of cells result in viral replication. Some viruses are able to resist the host cell’s attempts to destroy or hinder their replication, which is why they tend to appear in a more progressive form.
Symptoms and Causes Of Viruses Human beings are exposed to the virus through a number of means, the most common of which is physical contact with an infected object or individual. Touching an object that has been recently used by an infected individual or being bitten by an animal that has been exposed to the agent is the most common way that viruses spread among human beings. A more indirect way to become infected is by coming into contact with infectious fluid.
When a virus particles makes contact with an object or a fluid, the outer membrane of the virus membrane swells and releases millions of virus particles. These virus particles are highly infectious as they can infect neighboring cells. These particles are also capable of spreading from one individual to another as the virus travels along the exposed cellular membrane. The body’s innate immune system responds to the incoming virus particles and uses its white blood cells to fight off the invaders.
There are many different viruses that cause a variety of diseases; however, there are four classifications of viruses that have been proven to infect humans. The first is the common cold or “flu.” The second is the common cold or “paralychitis,” third is the herpes simplex virus, and last is the Epstein-Barr virus or herpes zoster virus. The first two types of viruses generally attack the respiratory system or the lymph nodes; the last two, in particular, appear to be responsible for generating painful blisters on the skin that later become crusty and ulcerated. Some of these known as common colds while others, such as the herpes virus, can generate fever, swollen glands, aches and pains, and headaches.
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