Reading Time: 5 minutes Coronavirus disease Above all, it was a tough decision bringing up the Covid-19 here. However, in recent years there has been nothing more disruptive than this virus. Hence, Bats, the presumed source of the new infectious disease Covid-19, are a pure reservoir for viruses. A year ago, scientists from Wuhan, China, warned of a new …
Viruses are the smallest of all the microbes. They are said to be so small that 500 million rhinoviruses (which cause the common cold) could fit on to the head of a pin. They are unique because they are only alive and able to multiply inside the cells of other living things. The cell they multiply in is called the host cell.
A virus gets made up of a core of genetic material, either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protective coat called a capsid which gets made up of protein. Sometimes the capsid is surrounded by an additional spikey coat called the envelope. Viruses are capable of latching onto host cells and getting inside them.
H3N2 influenza virus particles, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Each virus consists of a nucleocapsid (protein coat) that surrounds a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material. Surrounding the nucleocapsid is a lipid envelope that contains the glycoprotein spikes haemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). These viruses were part of the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968-1969 that killed approximately one million people worldwide. H3N2 viruses can infect birds and mammals as well as humans. They often cause more severe infections in the young and elderly than other flu strains and can lead to increases in hospitalisations and deaths.