What is Virus?

Viruses are very small particles which may cause disease in man, animals, and plants. That word "particles" seems a strange way to describe them, so let’s  see why it is used. Viruses are so small they will pass through the finest filters.

They cannot be grown in sugar solutions, but will grow and multiply in the presence of living tissue. They are parasites and depend completely  upon their host. Viruses are too small to be seen by ordinary microscopes-they have to be photographed through electron microscopes.

Because they are so small and need so many things to make them grow, many scientists think viruses are not living matter at all, but something between living and non-living matter.

Viruses cause many disease with which we are all familiar. In the attacking organs of the body, each group of viruses causes a different group of disease. Some of the disease caused by viruses that attack the skin are chickenpox, smallpox, measles, German measles, and fever blisters.

Other viruses cause disease of nerve tissue, such as rabies, brain fever and infantile paralysis. A third group of viruses cause disease in internal organs. Yellow fever, influenza the common cold and viral liver inflammation are examples of this group.       

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