Viruses Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Viruses?
Viruses are microscopic organisms that can cause infectious diseases in humans and animals. They are the smallest known type of pathogen, consisting of a core of genetic material surrounded by a protective protein coat. There is no known cure for the majority of viral infections, but treatments such as antiviral medications and vaccines can help to prevent and control them.Viruses invade living cells, hijacking their metabolic processes to reproduce themselves. In the process, they can cause illness or even death in their hosts. They typically spread from person to person through close contact, contaminated objects or fluids, airborne droplets from coughs and sneezes, food or water that has been contaminated with fecal matter, and insect bites.The symptoms of a viral infection vary depending on the type of virus involvedcold viruses may lead to sneezing and coughing; influenza viruses could cause fever and muscle aches; HIV could weaken your immune system over time; while rabies could lead to neurological disease and paralysis. Treatment options depend on which virus you have contractedin some cases antibiotics won’t work because they only target bacteriabut some medications may be effective at treating certain viruses while vaccinations may be used for prevention. In recent years, scientists have developed many new tools to study viruses including gene sequencing techniques that allow us to better understand how they evolve over time in order to create more effective treatments for viral infections. Despite these advances however it remains difficult to eradicate many types of viral diseases due to their rapid rate of mutation meaning there is always potential for them become resistant against existing therapies.