Frequently Asked Questions|
There are a lot of commonly asked questions that are asked about viruses. Most have
answers that can are concise and can be summed up in a sentence or two. Others, require
a real in depth explanation to get a sufficient answer. Hopefully this page will pose
and answer some of the Frequently Asked Questionís about viruses. If you click on the
bold words you will find their definitions on our Vocabulary Page.
Question: What is a virus?
Answer: A virus is a particle that is too small to be seen with a light microscope
or to be trapped by filters but is capable of independent metabolism and reproduction within
a living cell. Outside its host cell a virus is completely inert. A mature virus (a virion)
ranges in size from 20 to 400 nanometers in diameter. It consists of a core of nucleic acid
(DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat.
Question: What are some commonly known viruses?
Answer: Some of the more commonly known viruses found in animals include, influenza, AIDS,
herpes, hepatitis, polio, and rabies.
Question: What is the difference between a virus and bacteria?
Answer: Unlike a bacteria a virus is not a cell. When not inside a cell, a virus is inert.
Where as a bacteria is a self-sufficient cell that can function alone.
Question: Why canít we cure viruses?
Answer: Because most drugs that destroy viruses also damage the cell that the virus is
Question: How do you get infected by them and how can you prevent getting infected by
Answer: To cause new cases of disease, viruses must be spread from person to person.
Many viruses are spread through the air by infected people coughing or sneezing. Viruses can
also be spread through feces or an infected inse ct biting you.
an enzyme that can synthesize DNA from itís own RNA. The DNA that is formed then acts as the viral DNA.