Viruses, explained - Deepstash
Viruses, explained

Viruses, explained


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Viruses are not alive by most definitions. They are generally smaller than most bacteria, about a tenth of the size of a human blood cell. 

The structure of a virus is very simple: Each one consists of either DNA or RNA, enclosed in a protein pocket called a capsid. Viruses can't generate their own energy nor reproduce without the assistance of a host.


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Viruses multiply

Viruses cannot move or reproduce without the help of a host cell. When a virus finds a host, it can increase and spread quickly.

To find a host, viruses have receptors on their surfaces that match up with their ideal target cell. It then takes over the cellular machinery inside the host's cell to reproduce by multiplying the virus's genetic material and proteins.


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How viruses spread

  • Inside their cellular host, a virus can create a huge number of copies and spread the infection to other cells.
  • Viruses may spread from person to person through the mist of droplets from your mouth every time you cough or sneeze.
  • Some viruses spread through contact with other bodily fluids. Ebola virus spreads from contact with infected blood, feces, or vomit, and not through the air.
  • Other viruses travel through an intermediary, like a mosquito, which then infects people by biting them.


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