What is a Virus and How to Keep It from Getting You: Know Your Enemy

In light of the global epidemic, the need to know more about viruses has become dire. While we may leave the research for a vaccine up to the experts, knowing the basic information about the enemy is going to prove critical in the coming days.

Let’s discuss what a virus is and how it can be stopped from getting inside our system effectively, even amidst the current situation.

What is a Virus Exactly?

Viruses are one-of-a-kind beings, with an RNA/DNA core and a layer of protein. Before activation, they might also have a spiked envelope as a third layer, which is generally made up of the host cell’s own proteins and the strain’s typical glycoproteins.

This core is called a virion and it is singular in nature, although it is not a single-cell organism; a virus has no cells, nor is it an organism.

Instead, active virions turn the living cells of a host organism into capsids, which allows the production of new virions. They are fully matured on the formation and remain ready to be activated on coming out of their capsid cells through lysis or budding, as long as the conditions are favorable. The coming out phase kills the host cells due to rupture or leakage.

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Catching a Virus?

There are four primary mediums through which a virus can infect a human being, namely:

  • Touch or physical contact with a host
  • Infected water
  • Airborne droplets i.e. sneezing
  • Particles left behind on hard surfaces

If you wear a pair of gloves, keep your body well covered, and breathe through a certified mask, the chances of getting infected via contact or airborne droplets are next to none. However, it is absolutely critical to have a water filtration system at home or carry a portable one with you wherever you go, in order to prevent any viral strains from entering your body via infected water.

Pay a visit to the Discount Filter Store and choose the kind of water filtration system that your home can benefit the most from. Even though the novel coronavirus has not been positively linked to waterborne infections, they can remain active in the water comfortably.

Besides, there are deadlier but less infectious parasitic and bacterial lifeforms in the water than the novel coronavirus, even in the US.

A Virus Cannot Be Killed

Technically, a virus cannot be killed simply because it isn’t a living organism, to begin with. Viruses do not fit the bill of being a living being, so they cannot be killed like parasitic and bacterial microorganisms can be. If you are wondering why they are considered non-living beings, then consider the following points:

  • They do not have any cells of their own
  • They cannot reproduce on their own
  • They do not need to feed on energy to survive
  • They do not grow beyond their initial size as a virion
  • On lacking a host of favorable conditions, they simply deactivate
  • A virus doesn’t respond to any known stimuli

We have all suffered from and survived after catching a cold at some point or the other, so it’s safe to say that viral infections can be fought off by our own immune system.

Also, the polio vaccine has almost eliminated the disease altogether, which proves that while they are not killable, they can be deactivated, prevented, and disintegrated all the same.

Up until now, only nature has created “things” which are capable of neutralizing virions by killing off the infected cells individually, or by agglutinating and eating the virion clusters up the whole.

These special guard cells and adaptive proteins are all found in our own immune systems, in the form of antibodies. T-cells, NK cells, and phagocytes to name a few.

It’s when these defensive bodies encounter an undetectable, new viral strain that trouble begins, or as it is in this case, a pandemic ensues.