Viruses are microscopic organisms that exist almost everywhere on earth. Here is a quick rundown to read and share with friends, family, work colleagues and on your social media.
Viruses are living organisms that cannot replicate without a host cell.
Viruses are classified as parasitic and aim only to reproduce once in the host cell.
When a virus reproduces, its offspring spread to new cells and new hosts.
Viruses transmit from person to person, and from mother to child during pregnancy or delivery.
Some viruses can live on an object for some time, so if a person touches an item with the virus on their hands, the next person can pick up that virus by touching the same object.
Effects of viruses can range from life-threatening to virtually symptomless.
Most viral infections trigger a protective response from the immune system, but some viruses have ways of evading the immune system’s defenses.
Viruses like HIV and the human papilloma virus (HPV) have had devastating effects. As too the ZIKA virus.
Diseases caused by viruses include: smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis, polio, rabies, Ebola, Hanta fever, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), dengue fever and different types of flu.
Viral infections require either vaccinations to prevent them in the first place or antiviral drugs to treat them.