What Are Viruses: Everything you Need to Know

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The world as we know it has been tossed into a chaotic frenzy in recent days, due to a deadly illness known as the Coronavirus (Covid-19). At this present moment, it’s nowhere close to being the deadliest pandemic of the century, but it’s devastating numbers have begun growing at an alarming rate. What are viruses? Everything you need to know! 

Stirred by the media, this virus and the related pandemic has caused worldwide concern, with all types of hoarding recently, as well as world governments taking proper precautions to slow the deadly disease being passed to others. Please refer to the CDC for accurate information on COVID-19 and other viruses.

Not surprisingly, people are brushing up on everything that they know about viruses and ways to stay out of their path. You’re undoubtedly one of them. Here’s more about what viruses are, and everything you need to know about them.    

What are viruses? Everything you need to know! 

What Are Viruses: Everything you Need to Know

Viruses are extremely tiny particles that can infect animals and humans, even plants, causing them to get sick. They’re so tiny in fact, that viruses are an estimated 1,000 times smaller than bacteria.

Even though viruses reproduce, they are not considered to be alive, nor are they dead. 

Viruses consist of DNA and RNA and are surrounded by a protein coating called a capsid. These microscopic parasites depend upon live host cells to attach themselves and inject their genetic material and begin to invade and take over.

Unlike bacteria, viruses, for the most part, carry diseases and are extremely specific about which cells they go after.   

Interesting Facts

The word virus comes from the Latin word, which means “poison”, or “slimy liquid.” Pretty accurate description, to say the least. 

We already know that viruses can attack humans, animals, and plants, but they can even turn and attack other viruses as well. 

Viruses also happen to evolve faster than any other living organism. In just a few short hours, they can make up to 1,000 copies of themselves, causing devastation quickly.  

Unfortunately, antibiotics have zero effect on viruses. That’s because they have no target to aim at, instead only affecting the host cell. 

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Types of Viruses

Are you ready for this alarming bit of information? There are millions of types of viruses, yet only around 5,000 at this point have been described in full detail.

Some of the most common types of viral infections (spread from person to person) include the common cold, flu, norovirus (stomach flu in adults), rotavirus (stomach flu in children), Mononucleosis (kissing disease), HIV/Aids, shingles, herpes, meningitis, pneumonia and hepatitis.  

People the Most at Risk

People that have the highest risk for contracting a virus include younger children and older adults with weakened immune systems. Depending upon the virus, in most cases, healthy adults have the lowest risk for catching or falling victim to it.

There are also viruses out there that show no favoritism to anyone, where even the healthiest of adults can die from them.   

How Viruses Spread

Viruses spread from one person to another, directly or indirectly, by the tiny droplets that are scattered when a person sneezes or coughs.

Without even realizing it, a person may touch that same surface and then touch their eyes, mouth or nose with their hands, causing them to get sick.

Viruses can survive on surfaces for as long as 24 hours, which is why desensitizing doorknobs, countertops, light switches, and other surfaces often is extremely important. 

Other viruses can spread through sexual intercourse, sharing needles, or even transmitted by insects and animals.   

Ways to Reduce Viruses from Spreading

1. Practice good hygiene – Practicing good hygiene is the best place to start. Wash your hands often, with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. This simple step can’t be stressed enough. It’s also smart to have a healthy supply of hand sanitizer around. 

2. Cough into your elbow – When you cough or sneeze, make sure that you aren’t using your hands to cover your face. Instead, cough or sneeze into your elbow. 

3. Stay home – It’s also very important that you stay at home when you know, or even think, that you are sick. Places like schools and the workplace, which have a lot of people in them, are like breeding grounds for viruses. 

4. Sanitize – Be sure to clean and sanitize regularly, by disinfecting and wiping down surfaces. 

5.  Avoid sharing – Don’t share cups, plates or eating utensils with others. 

6. Avoid touching – Try your best to avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose with your hands. These areas are the quickest entrances for viruses into your body. 

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7. Get the appropriate vaccine – There are still trials that are being conducted concerning the coronavirus, and no vaccine has been found. Please note, I am not advocating for or against vaccines, let me make that clear.

Relief From Viruses

Treating a virus with medicine doesn’t necessarily kill the virus, (because it’s not technically alive) but it does provide relief from it. However, there are antiviral medicines out there that can work on particular viruses.

For the most part, it’s an individual’s immune system and antibodies that have to do most of the work. 

Pain relievers, nasal decongestants, and cough suppressants are all treatments that you can use to provide you with relief from a virus’s symptoms.  

There are several natural remedies that can also provide relief and help to keep your immune system strong. Many of these that you can try include garlic, peppermint, elderberry, ginger, turmeric, oregano oil, and echinacea. Honey is also an ingredient that can bring relief from symptoms like coughing and sore throat. 

How Long Am I Contagious? 

In most cases, people can become contagious as early as a day (up to 4 days) before any symptoms might even show up. These symptoms can last anywhere from 5 to 7 days, and sometimes up to 2 weeks, depending on the type of virus.

People may still be infectious even after the last symptoms have disappeared. That’s why doctors urge people not to return to work or school for at least another 24 hours after one is feeling better.  

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Final Word

At first, the coronavirus had a fatality rate of 1.4%, but in recent days, that estimate has grown to around 4% to 5%. This number is still fairly low, but the virus should not be taken lightly. In case you missed my Bacteria: Everything You Need to Know

With the recent Coronavirus scare that’s made its way around the globe, what concerns you the most, and what necessary precautions have you been taking? Please keep prepping. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Virus Depositphotos_20564365_s-2019, Virus Depositphotos_20042115_s-2019

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