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What are viruses?

What are Viruses ?

What Are Viruses ?

Viruses are submicroscopic parasitic organisms that are much smaller than bacteria. It is an often asked question if viruses are alive or why are viruses not alive? Well, some biologists say they are while others say they are not. What happens is, they are unable to survive and reproduce outside of a host body. Viruses are proteins and genetic material that can survive and replicate inside another living being. Viruses are unable to multiply in the absence of their host, and many are unable to survive in the extracellular environment for lengthy periods of time. This is the nature of viruses. 

Do viruses contain DNA or RNA? To answer this question, you must know the structure of viruses. The genetic substance of most viruses is either RNA or DNA. Single-stranded or double-stranded nucleic acids are both possible. The nucleic acid and a protein outer shell make up the entire infectious virus particle, known as a vision.

Viruses hover on the edge of what qualifies as life. On the one hand, they contain the nucleic acids, DNA, or RNA, which are essential components of all living organisms (any given virus can only have one or the other). On the other hand, Viruses lack the ability to read and act on the data contained inside these nucleic acids on their own. 

Viruses are commonly thought to be the source of contagious diseases. Widespread outbreaks of sickness and mortality have undoubtedly contributed to this reputation. The present pandemic caused by a coronavirus, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as well as the 2009 H1N1/swine flu pandemic, are likely to spring to mind. Other common viral infection examples include flu, common cold, smallpox, measles, chickenpox, etc. Vaccines and some antivirals are effective against viruses, but antibiotics are not.

Some of the examples of viruses are discussed below:

Human immunodeficiency virus

 The human immunodeficiency virus also known as HIV is a very dangerous virus that affects the immune system.

The virus can enter the body by blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, vaginal fluids, Rental fluids,  breast milk, or from a mother to the child.

When HIV enters your body attack the immune system of your body and create more copy of itself and more viruses spreads into your body, due to this the self-healing property of our body decreases 

In the past, 75 million people have been diagnosed with HIV, when HIV is not treated well it can turn to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

So it does not aid which kill people, it's the disease and our immune system which cannot heal the body.


 A serious infectious bacterial disease that affects the lungs. Bacteria can spread when an infected person sneezes. Most people infected with this virus have no symptoms. Symptoms are likely a cough, weight loss, night sweats, and fever.TB can attack any part of the body like the kidney Spine and brain. Everyone infected with TB bacteria doesn't show symptoms, some of them are latent TB infection and some of them are TB disease. If TB is not treated well, this disease can be fatal.

 How Tuberculosis Spreads

TB bacteria spreads through air transmission from a person to another person. This bacteria can be put into the ear when a person with the disease throat coughs, speaks, or sings. People nearby the patients if the patient coughs and if the other person inhales the virus heir she can be infected by the virus.

Tuberculosis doesn't spread by

- Shaking hands

- Sharing Food

- Touching any surface

- kissing

When a person in his TB bacteria. It can be settled into the lungs and can grow from there. Now it can move to another part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain by blood

Signs of Tuberculosis

Signs of Tuberculosis depend on where the bacteria has been targeted in our body part. Disease in the lungs may cause these symptoms such as

- A bad cough lasts 3 - 4 weeks or longer. 

- Mild or severe pain in the Chest. 

- coughing up bloody phlegm

Other Body symptoms 

- Weakness

- Weight loss

- Chills

- Fever



-No appetite

Other symptoms of TB disease depend on the targeted part of bacteria that has been grown.


Rabies is a viral disease that spreads from the saliva of the animals that are infected with it. Rabies is a common disease in many countries and generally spreads from animals like stray dogs, coyotes, bats, raccoons, foxes, etc. It is a preventable disease, but not taking proper measures after getting affected by rabies can lead the virus to spread through your brain and can also cause death.

Following are the symptoms infected person experiences-

  1. Fever- Fever is one of the most common symptoms, your body temperature might rise to 100.4 Fahrenheit or even more.
  2. Headache.
  3. Body pain. 
  4. Dizziness.
  5. Loss of appetite.
  6. Hydrophobia.
  7. Nauseous or vomiting.

If you think that an animal bit you or might have bitten you, you should seek medical care. If you have pets in your home be sure that they are vaccinated and are not infected.



Smallpox was a very contagious disease and was eradicated back in 1980. The disease was caused due to two virus variants- Variola minor and Variola major. The virus had a 30% death rate and even more in infants. The origin of the virus is unknown. The virus was communicable and could be transmitted from an infectious person to another person through direct physical contact, or in some rare cases, this virus could also spread through the air.

The symptoms of Smallpox were-

  1. Rashes on face, hand, torso.
  2. Fever.
  3. Headache.
  4. Vomiting.
  5. Chills.

To date, there is no cure for smallpox. However, getting yourself vaccinated for smallpox can prevent you from getting infected.