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What is a virus, How they spread, & How they make us sick?

Viruses are the most common biological entities on Earth. Experts estimate there are around 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them.

You can think of them as nature’s own nanotechnology: molecular machines with sizes on the nanometre scale, equipped to invade the cells of other organisms and hijack them to reproduce themselves. While the great majority are harmless to humans, some can make you sick and some can even be deadly.

Viruses rely on the cells of other organisms to survive and reproduce, because they can’t capture or store energy themselves. In other words they cannot function outside a host organism, which is why they are often regarded as non-living.

Outside a cell, a virus wraps itself up into an independent particle called a virion. The virion can “survive” in the environment for a certain period of time, which means it remains structurally intact and is capable of infecting a suitable organism if one comes into contact.

When a virion attaches to a suitable host cell – this depends on the protein molecules on the surfaces of the virion and the cell – it is able to penetrate the cell. Once inside, the virus “hacks” the cell to produce more virions. The virions make their way out of the cell, usually destroying it in the process, and then head off to infect more cells.

What are viruses?

At the core of a virus particle is the genome, the long molecule made of DNA or RNA that contains the genetic instructions for reproducing the virus. This is wrapped up in a coat made of protein molecules called a capsid, which protects the genetic material.

Some viruses also have an outer envelope made of lipids, which are fatty organic molecules. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is one of these these “enveloped” viruses. Soap can dissolve this fatty envelope, leading to the destruction of the whole virus particle. That’s one reason washing your hands with soap is so effective!

What do viruses attack?

Viruses are like predators with a specific prey they can recognise and attack. Viruses that do not recognise our cells will be harmless, and some others will infect us but will have no consequences for our health.

Many animal and plant species have their own viruses. Cats have the feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV, a cat version of HIV, which causes AIDS in humans. Bats host many different kinds of coronavirus, one of which is believed to be the source of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Bacteria also have unique viruses called bacteriophages, which in some cases can be used to fight bacterial infections.

Viruses can mutate and combine with one another. Sometimes, as in the case of COVID-19, that means they can switch species.

Why are some viruses so deadly?

The most important ones to humans are the ones that infect us. Some families of viruses, such as herpes viruses, can stay dormant in the body for long periods of time without causing negative effects.

How much harm a virus or other pathogen can do is often described as its virulence. This depends not only on how much harm it does to an infected person, but also on how well the virus can avoid the body’s defences, replicate itself and spread to other carriers.

In evolutionary terms, there is often a trade-off for a virus between replicating and doing harm to the host. A virus that replicates like crazy and kills its host very quickly may not have an opportunity to spread to a new host. On the other hand, a virus that replicates slowly and causes little harm may have plenty of time to spread.

How do viruses spread?

However, if a virus particle has been brought into your body, it doesn’t guarantee you will get sick. The lungs have cells and mucus lining them that help to trap or get rid of bacteria, particles and viruses. If the virus manages to get past the lungs’ security systems, the protein in the virus must find the perfect cell to bind to, one with the right protein to receive it. The location of the needed receptor plays a major role in whether the host will get sick.

Once a person is infected with a virus, their body becomes a reservoir of virus particles which can be released in bodily fluids – such as by coughing and sneezing – or by shedding skin or in some cases even touching surfaces.

Depending on the type of virus, it can be spread through sneezes, coughs, sexual contact, shared needles, or fecal-to-oral transmission.

FLUE IS SIMILAR TO COVID-19, it is respiratory type. This is WHY the more general definition used in hospitals to cont cases of coronavirus may have be higher than the truer figure.

What is a coronavirus?

The coronavirus COVID-19 is a member of the virus family coronaviridae, or coronaviruses. The name comes from the appearance of the virus particles under a microscope: tiny protein protrusions on their surfaces mean they appear surrounded by a halo-like corona.

Other coronaviruses were responsible for deadly outbreaks of Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) from 2012. These viruses mutate relatively often in ways that allow them to be transmitted to humans.

The greater challenge facing society is many illnesses don’t show symptoms right away. Some viruses have incubation periods of up to 14 days and some individuals may be asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms. Of course, how contagious and severe any given illness is depends on the strand of virus and on the immune system and general health of the person that encounters it.

 

IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Nourish your body. Eating foods that are high in nutrients will not only benefit you overall but can also keep your immune system working efficiently. You can take vitamins and minerals to ensure you have the full range of nutrients as most people's diet is not ideal and cooked food destroy many nutrients to a fair degree.

Keep your immunizations up to date. Staying immunized familiarizes your body with different diseases and sicknesses.

Get enough sleep. You are more likely to catch a cold or infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep leads to higher stress levels and more stress creates inflammation in the body.

Limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol deprives the body of needed immune-boosting T cells and B cells, which render your system less capable of killing germs. The damage to the immune system goes up along with the amount of alcohol consumed.
 

BASIC PROTOCOLS TO FOLLOW for FLUE & CORONAVIRUS

1. Keep your distance.

It’s easy to pass on germs when you live in close quarters, especially during the winter when we’re all indoors. Avoid close contact with colleagues, friends, or family members if you have the flu or a cold. Tell them you're sick and you don't want them to catch what you have.

2. Stay home.

If you feel sick, don't go to work. Keep ailing kids home from school, too.

An adult can infect other people one day before symptoms show up and up to 5 days after they start. You could spread flu to others before you know you're sick. If you go back to work or school within 5 days after your symptoms started, chances are you’re still contagious.

3. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.

This goes a long way toward protecting others from your germs. Afterward, wash your hands thoroughly to remove germs.

4. Always Wash your hands OFTEN AND WHEN YOU GET HOME, proper and frequent hand washing to kill off any germs that may be on your hands.


HAVE A SAFE & A HAPPY XMAS

 


 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
18 minutes ago, skyreach said:

What is a virus, How they spread, & How they make us sick?

Viruses are the most common biological entities on Earth. Experts estimate there are around 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them.

You can think of them as nature’s own nanotechnology: molecular machines with sizes on the nanometre scale, equipped to invade the cells of other organisms and hijack them to reproduce themselves. While the great majority are harmless to humans, some can make you sick and some can even be deadly.

Viruses rely on the cells of other organisms to survive and reproduce, because they can’t capture or store energy themselves. In other words they cannot function outside a host organism, which is why they are often regarded as non-living.

Outside a cell, a virus wraps itself up into an independent particle called a virion. The virion can “survive” in the environment for a certain period of time, which means it remains structurally intact and is capable of infecting a suitable organism if one comes into contact.

When a virion attaches to a suitable host cell – this depends on the protein molecules on the surfaces of the virion and the cell – it is able to penetrate the cell. Once inside, the virus “hacks” the cell to produce more virions. The virions make their way out of the cell, usually destroying it in the process, and then head off to infect more cells.

What are viruses?

At the core of a virus particle is the genome, the long molecule made of DNA or RNA that contains the genetic instructions for reproducing the virus. This is wrapped up in a coat made of protein molecules called a capsid, which protects the genetic material.

Some viruses also have an outer envelope made of lipids, which are fatty organic molecules. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is one of these these “enveloped” viruses. Soap can dissolve this fatty envelope, leading to the destruction of the whole virus particle. That’s one reason washing your hands with soap is so effective!

What do viruses attack?

Viruses are like predators with a specific prey they can recognise and attack. Viruses that do not recognise our cells will be harmless, and some others will infect us but will have no consequences for our health.

Many animal and plant species have their own viruses. Cats have the feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV, a cat version of HIV, which causes AIDS in humans. Bats host many different kinds of coronavirus, one of which is believed to be the source of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Bacteria also have unique viruses called bacteriophages, which in some cases can be used to fight bacterial infections.

Viruses can mutate and combine with one another. Sometimes, as in the case of COVID-19, that means they can switch species.

Why are some viruses so deadly?

The most important ones to humans are the ones that infect us. Some families of viruses, such as herpes viruses, can stay dormant in the body for long periods of time without causing negative effects.

How much harm a virus or other pathogen can do is often described as its virulence. This depends not only on how much harm it does to an infected person, but also on how well the virus can avoid the body’s defences, replicate itself and spread to other carriers.

In evolutionary terms, there is often a trade-off for a virus between replicating and doing harm to the host. A virus that replicates like crazy and kills its host very quickly may not have an opportunity to spread to a new host. On the other hand, a virus that replicates slowly and causes little harm may have plenty of time to spread.

How do viruses spread?

However, if a virus particle has been brought into your body, it doesn’t guarantee you will get sick. The lungs have cells and mucus lining them that help to trap or get rid of bacteria, particles and viruses. If the virus manages to get past the lungs’ security systems, the protein in the virus must find the perfect cell to bind to, one with the right protein to receive it. The location of the needed receptor plays a major role in whether the host will get sick.

Once a person is infected with a virus, their body becomes a reservoir of virus particles which can be released in bodily fluids – such as by coughing and sneezing – or by shedding skin or in some cases even touching surfaces.

Depending on the type of virus, it can be spread through sneezes, coughs, sexual contact, shared needles, or fecal-to-oral transmission.

FLUE IS SIMILAR TO COVID-19, it is respiratory type. This is WHY the more general definition used in hospitals to cont cases of coronavirus may have be higher than the truer figure.

What is a coronavirus?

The coronavirus COVID-19 is a member of the virus family coronaviridae, or coronaviruses. The name comes from the appearance of the virus particles under a microscope: tiny protein protrusions on their surfaces mean they appear surrounded by a halo-like corona.

Other coronaviruses were responsible for deadly outbreaks of Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) from 2012. These viruses mutate relatively often in ways that allow them to be transmitted to humans.

The greater challenge facing society is many illnesses don’t show symptoms right away. Some viruses have incubation periods of up to 14 days and some individuals may be asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms. Of course, how contagious and severe any given illness is depends on the strand of virus and on the immune system and general health of the person that encounters it.

 

IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Nourish your body. Eating foods that are high in nutrients will not only benefit you overall but can also keep your immune system working efficiently. You can take vitamins and minerals to ensure you have the full range of nutrients as most people's diet is not ideal and cooked food destroy many nutrients to a fair degree.

Keep your immunizations up to date. Staying immunized familiarizes your body with different diseases and sicknesses.

Get enough sleep. You are more likely to catch a cold or infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep leads to higher stress levels and more stress creates inflammation in the body.

Limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol deprives the body of needed immune-boosting T cells and B cells, which render your system less capable of killing germs. The damage to the immune system goes up along with the amount of alcohol consumed.
 

BASIC PROTOCOLS TO FOLLOW for FLUE & CORONAVIRUS

1. Keep your distance.

It’s easy to pass on germs when you live in close quarters, especially during the winter when we’re all indoors. Avoid close contact with colleagues, friends, or family members if you have the flu or a cold. Tell them you're sick and you don't want them to catch what you have.

2. Stay home.

If you feel sick, don't go to work. Keep ailing kids home from school, too.

An adult can infect other people one day before symptoms show up and up to 5 days after they start. You could spread flu to others before you know you're sick. If you go back to work or school within 5 days after your symptoms started, chances are you’re still contagious.

3. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.

This goes a long way toward protecting others from your germs. Afterward, wash your hands thoroughly to remove germs.

4. Always Wash your hands OFTEN AND WHEN YOU GET HOME, proper and frequent hand washing to kill off any germs that may be on your hands.


HAVE A SAFE & A HAPPY XMAS

 


 

Hi @skyreach

Thanks for sharing. I have promoted your piece on our picks.

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All the best and happy holidays! - MongiIG

 

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