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Virus Facts That Will Make You Want to Stay Healthy

Getting sick is one of the most difficult things we go through in life. Whether it’s the flu or a more serious health disfunction, we try to do our best each day to avoid nasty viruses from entering our bodies. However, is taking mere vitamins enough to keep us safe? Take a look at these virus facts to find out.

Half of the original human DNA comes from viruses.

This then proceeds to infect and embed themselves into the egg and sperm cells of our ancestors. Our DNA is made up of around 100,000 viral DNA.

This makes up around 8% of the total human genome.

virus facts
Photo from Pixabay

Not all viral proteins are bad.

Some of these viruses help the body during major developments such as pregnancy. Some viral proteins keep the woman’s immune system from attacking the baby while in utero.

Viral proteins are grouped into several categories such as regulatory, accessory, structural, and non-structural.

Most of the viruses embedded in our DNA are already extinct.

Most of these viruses have already gone extinct due to human evolution and changes in environments. Modern medicine also played a role in the extinction of these viruses. 

If scientists were to revive any of these viruses, it could cause a major outbreak that humans won’t quickly heal from.

A large DNA-based virus once took residence inside a bacterial cell.

A scientific theory states that this phenomenon created the first cell nucleus over billions of years ago. If this is true, it would imply that humanity descended from a foundation of viruses. 

However, despite the theory stating a DNA-based virus created the first cell nucleus, viruses themselves have no such thing.

Some prehistoric viruses are believed to have played a role in our autoimmune diseases.

The viral relics found in our genomes are believed to be the reason why we are immune to certain diseases. This includes certain cancer viruses as well.

It is harder for naked viruses to break open host cells.

virus facts
Photo from Pixabay

Naked viruses refer to viruses that do not have a protein coating. This coating is referred to as a capsid.

This envelope is a determining factor in how a virus can enter and exit a host after it matures.

There are 2 main virus types.

A virus may contain either a single or double-stranded DNA basis for its genetic material. Some viruses also contain single or double-stranded RNA.

Additionally, their genetic formation is organized to form a straight strand. Others may also have circular molecules.

Viruses can remain dormant in a host body for years.

Viruses undergo multiple life cycles. The virus enters the host by fusion with other cells. 

This causes the host’s cells to replicate the virus DNA and grow. This cycle repeats until it takes over the entire host’s system.

Retroviruses are commonly used in gene therapy.

Retroviruses contain RNA. This virus replicates its genome by using an enzyme known as reverse transcriptase. 

The enzyme then converts the virus into something that can be integrated into the host DNA. These viruses are important because they can insert genes into human chromosomes.

Some viruses use proteins from humans to infect cells.

An example of this would be the HIV and Ebola viruses. The viral capsid both contains viral proteins that are disguised. 

This is hidden by the human proteins which keep it hidden from the body’s immune system.

Important Corona Virus Facts

Yet another epidemic is increasingly terrifying the whole world. Different places report cases upon cases of the disease. Still, it is important to stay alert and avoid further panic and terror. One thing that you could do is learn these facts about coronavirus and apply precautionary measures as recommended.

Under a microscope, coronaviruses appear with crown shapes.

Thus, the name. Moreover, these RNA viruses are enveloped and positive-stranded in Nidovirales order.

The most prominent symptoms of coronaviruses are respiratory symptoms.

Alongside it is breathing difficulties, cough, fever, and shortness of breath. However, severe cases could eventually lead to pneumonia, kidney failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and worst, death.

Respiratory droplets carry human coronaviruses from an infected person to people nearby.

By coughing or sneezing, an infected person could transmit the disease via close personal contact. Another way is when a person touched a contaminated object or surface and then touched the eyes or mouth afterward.

symptoms of coronavirus
Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

It is advisable to avoid close contact with people who are showing symptoms.

Other preventive measures that you can do are covering your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing, properly cooking eggs and meat, and washing your hands regularly.

Diagnosis of coronavirus infections requires special laboratory tests.

These tests involve blood or respiratory samples and are more ideal for people with severe symptoms. In cases of infection from uncommon CoV strains like MERS, the tests should also be recommended.

The Coronaviridae family has a subfamily named Orthocorinavirinae.

Further, this subfamily has four CoV genera classifications namely Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Gammacoronavirus.

4 out of the 7 CoV types cause respiratory infection.

The KHU1, 229E, OC43, and NL63 are more common than you might think. Their effects could range from mild to moderate infections like that of the common cold.

2 out of the 7 CoV types can cause severe respiratory infections.

These are the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus or SARS-CoV, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus or the MERS-CoV.

The discovery of the 7th type was not until 2019.

The Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan of Hubei Province in China. Until now, public health officials are still figuring out the recently discovered coronavirus and its corresponding infection.

SARS-CoV surfaced in China back in 2002.

The SARS-causing virus immediately spread to over 24 countries in Asia, Europe, North and South America. Thankfully, SARS cases dwindled until there are no longer reported cases from all over the world since 2004.

SARS-CoV most likely originated from bats.

coronavirus from bats
Image by Salmar from Pixabay

However, it spread to Chinese ferret badgers, Himalayan palm civets, and raccoon dogs at the Guangdong wet markets. Handlers or consumers got infected as well, further spreading the virus via human-to-human transmission.

Bats reportedly contain a broad range of coronaviruses.

It is crucial in the evolution of viruses, particularly the alpha- and betacoronavirus lineages. Still, there are other animal species that serve as intermediate hosts and animal reservoirs.

MERS-CoV cases trace back to residence or travels in and near the Arabian Peninsula.

First discovered in 2012, this type of coronavirus infection recorded around 2,500 infected people.

The main source for MERS-CoV was dromedary camels.

These virus animal reservoirs served as the intermediate host source for human infections of the same strain. For MERS, there have been no documented human-to-human transmission or community outbreaks apart from close contacts.

MERS-CoV from dromedary camels
Image by Wolfgang_Hasselmann from Pixabay

The majority of MERS-CoV cases sprung from human-to-human infections in healthcare settings.

Whether the transmission is airborne, ingestion or via droplet, the accurate routes are still unclear apart from close contact. Zoonotic infections reportedly came from the consumption of raw camel milk and other camel products.

MERS-CoV could thrive on plastic and metal surfaces for up to 48 hours.

It represents the universal environmental conditions in indoor spaces like a hospital ward, especially when at 20°C and 40% relative humidity. Also, bacterial culture from air and surfaces show that MERS could survive on surfaces even several days past contact with an infected patient.

The coronaviruses are sensitive to heat.

Ultraviolet light, non-ionic detergents, liquid solvents, and oxidizing agents also affect the virions adversely. Moreover, higher temperatures or increased levels of relative humidity also decrease viability.

The H5N1 or bird flu is another type of virus that humans acquire from animals.

As the name suggests, the bird flu is an influenza virus that causes severe respiratory disease in birds. The ‘avian influenza,’ as it is also called, is highly infectious. Occasional human bird flu cases occur, but the human-to-human transmission of the infection is difficult.

bird flu
Image by Bernd Focken from Pixabay

The U.S. government issued a traffic advisory at level 4 for the COVID-19.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency and an international concern. Hence, government officials advised residents not to travel to China.

Airlines from all over the world imposed a travel ban in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 from Wuhan.

Asian, European, and North American airlines canceled flights to China. Some of the institutions on the list are Air Asia, Air India, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, IndiGo, Lufthansa, and United Airlines. While some either minimized or stopped flying to China entirely, others offered refunds to customers.

Latest COVID-19 Facts

  1. As of 6 October, 2020, there are already 35,695,735 recorded COVID-19 coronavirus cases across the world.
  2. While 26,865,755 patients have recovered, 1,045,920 affected people ended up dead.
  3. The U.S. is currently the country with the highest COVID-19 case count at 7,679,644, among which 215,032 are dead.
  4. Ranking second is India with 6,682,073 recorded cases, and the death toll of 103,600.
  5. Brazil ranks third with 4,940,499 recorded cases with a death toll of 146,773.
  6. The majority of deaths caused by the COVID-19 are above the age of 75 years.
  7. 216 countries and territories around the world are affected by COVID-19.
  8. About 60% of COVID-19 deaths are males, and close to 40% of the deaths are females.
  9. 11 countries and territories no longer have active cases, including St. Vincent Grenadines, Macao, Timor-Leste, New Caledonia, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Greenland, Montserrat, Falkland Islands, Vatican City, and Anguilla.
  10. 45th US President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on 1 October, 2020.

Sources:

https://facts.net/virus-facts/

https://facts.net/coronavirus-facts/

https://www.labmanager.com/lab-health-and-safety/covid-19-a-history-of-coronavirus-22021

https://www.sterillium.info/en/stories-hub/how-do-viruses-spread

https://theconversation.com/all-the-coronavirus-in-the-world-could-fit-inside-a-coke-can-with-plenty-of-room-to-spare-154226

https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/viruses

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