Viral Diseases – What You Need to Know
A virus is an abnormal viral agent that only replicates within a single host organism. Viruses may infect a wide variety of living organisms, such as plants, bacteria, and even animals. Most viruses have a protein envelope surrounding fluid enclosed by an outer membrane. Although a virus cannot cause disease in its own right, it can and does cause disease to an individual who is exposed to it.
Unlike bacterium and virus, all viruses are accompanied by genetic material – DNA or RNA – that is passed on from the invading organism to its susceptible host cell. The genetic material carries instructions for creating a new virus from the original host cell. Once the genetic code is passed along, a new virus is formed.
All viruses are composed of pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome comes from the host cell and the other from an element on the viral path. The virus particles are coated on both sides with a protein that serves as a shield to hinder the entry of the viral molecules into the host cell. The protein, or envelope, is enveloped within an envelope that has an outer membrane of varying thickness. This is how a virus gets into a cell.
The outer membrane of the envelope provides the virus with a safe haven to reproduce and spread itself throughout the host cell. Envelope proteins and other components of a virus envelope act like scissors, cutting open the viral envelope to allow the viral DNA to enter the susceptible cells. Some viruses attach to the surface of the cellular level and others embed themselves deep within the cellular level. Some viruses can be classified as good (adhering to the cellular level) and others as bad (adhering to the viral level).
When a virus erupts in the human body, it can be classified into two types: external (or visible) and internal (or invisible). A virus that erupts in visible form is generally believed to be benign (no harm done). A virus that penetrates the body and damages or alters specific organs or structures is considered to be internal, and it may not be harmful. External (visible) viruses are usually what we usually focus on when we talk about viral disease; although there are some exceptions.
Viral diseases are not all caused by viruses. Other factors such as radiation and chemicals can cause the same symptoms as viruses. It is very important to become educated about the various types of viruses that are out there and their respective ways of entering the body so you can develop an effective antiviral therapy against any virus that strikes. There are many products on the market today that promote antiviral therapy, but it is still best to seek medical advice from your doctor. Remember, every virus is different and no virus can be categorized as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – it only becomes dangerous if the individual who is affected by it becomes ill.
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