Viruses and Infections

Viruses are capsules with genetic material inside. Viruses are like hijackers. They invade living, normal cells and use those cells to multiply and produce other viruses like themselves. This eventually kills the cells, which can make you sick. Viral infections are hard to treat because viruses live inside your body's cells. They are "protected" from medicines, which usually move through your bloodstream. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are a few antiviral medicines available. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases. When the body's immune system detects a viral infection, it begins to respond in a generic way. A process begins called RNA interference, which is crucial to fighting viruses because it degrades the viral genetic material and enables cells to survive the infection. Whereas bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, viral infections require either vaccinations to prevent them or antiviral drugs to treat them. Types of some viral diseases are Ebola, HIV, HPV, Influenza, Herpes Virus, Small Pox, Hanta Virus, etc.

A virus is a small infectious organism that must invade a living cell to reproduce (replicate). The virus attaches to a cell (called the host cell), enters it, and releases its DNA or RNA inside the cell. The virus’s DNA or RNA is the genetic material containing the information needed to make copies of (replicate) the virus. The virus’s genetic material takes control of the cell and forces it to replicate the virus. The infected cell usually dies because the virus keeps it from performing its normal functions. When it dies, the cell releases new viruses, which go on to infect other cells. Viruses are classified as DNA viruses or RNA viruses, depending on whether they use DNA or RNA to replicate. 

  • Ebola
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Human Papillomavirus
  • Influenza
  • Herpes virus
  • Small Pox
  • Hantavirus

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