Understanding What A Virus Is
A virus is a self replicating program that spreads by inserting itself into living cells and manipulating them to replicate themselves. Viruses are caused by a virus known as a pathogen. These viruses live in many different places and can infect different types of cells. The name “virus” comes from the Greek word virusos, meaning “to attack.” They are most commonly spread through mosquitoes, although other pathogens can cause similar symptoms. Most viruses are single celled, but occasionally a virus will mutate into a cell within another organism.
A virus is “cold,” since it does not require any living cells to cause an infection. Since they do not need to reproduce themselves, they have no means of spreading themselves. As a result, they cannot survive without living hosts. They must feed on something, and since their source of food is living matter, their hosts provide this nourishment. Since they require no living host to reproduce themselves, they can only survive on dead or infected tissue.
Viruses are made up of a protein coat that envelopes an envelope of membrane surrounded by an outer membrane. Inside the coat is a RNA virus (short for RNA Virus) and genetic material. The RNA virus is the actual virus inside your body. Since there is no outside membrane to protect the genetic material from the environment, the virus travels rapidly through the body. This allows it to attach itself very quickly to living cells.
Once a virus latches itself to an individual cell, it replicates itself millions of times during the course of a day. That is how a virus becomes a pathogen. Viruses also release toxins that irritate and sometimes destroy healthy cells. The body uses natural killer cells (T-cells) to fight these external toxins.
Pathogens can cause many health problems including the flu, common cold, herpes, tonsillitis, viral encephalitis, and many more. A virus spreads from one part of the body to another when it invades a new target organ. When it enters the eyes, it causes a red rash and is often accompanied by discharge from the nose. In throat infections, the virus travels into the lungs causing a greenish yellow discharge. When the virus reaches the blood stream, it settles in the liver causing jaundice and serious hepatitis.
Because the virus is so destructive and harmful, it is essential that the body develop ways to combat and avoid infections. Some of these defenses include vaccination against common diseases, such as yellow fever and smallpox. Many individuals have been successfully cured of chronic illnesses using these vaccinations. Many researchers are working hard to find new treatments for various forms of illnesses.