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Viral Diseases 101 – 6 Virus-Induced Diseases

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Viruses can be pretty scary for a lot of people. Although many of these diseases can be easily treated, some are fatal to humans and animals. Viruses that cause diseases are single-celled organisms that carry genetic information in the form of DNA or RNA. They can cause major damage to cells and even lead to cell death. Here are some of these feared and deadly entities caused by a virus.

Smallpox

Smallpox is a viral disease that can cause fever, headache, and body aches. The variola virus causes it. The virus invades your body through your nose or mouth, usually after you’ve been in contact with someone who has smallpox. Inside your body, it attacks the cells lining your throat and lungs. It also enters lymph nodes, where it begins to multiply rapidly. After about two weeks of incubation, the virus invades your bloodstream and spreads throughout your body.

Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes simplex virus is a DNA virus that produces ulcers in the mouth and surrounding areas. There are two types: HSV type 1 most often affects the lips and is responsible for cold sores or fever blisters. HSV type 2 usually infects the genitals but can also infect the mouth. The herpes simplex virus is spread through close contact with an infected person, such as kissing or sharing eating utensils, drinking glasses, and toothbrushes.

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM)

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is an uncommon but deadly disorder that weakens the muscles and damages the neurological system. A range of microorganisms, including viruses and environmental and genetic factors, can contribute to causing AFM. Infectious disease enteroviruses cause acute flaccid myelitis. Enteroviruses are a prevalent cause of respiratory disease and fever, especially in young people. However, the cause of acute flaccid myelitis in certain patients infected with enteroviruses remains unknown.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a viral illness that usually only lasts a few days or weeks. In most cases, symptoms include fever, nausea, headaches, loss of appetite, chills, muscle pains, particularly in the back. Symptoms typically improve within five days. The yellow fever vaccine is the primary method for preventing yellow fever disease. The vaccine provides effective immunity for at least 10 years and probably for life. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer long-lasting protection against yellow fever disease, and there is no need to revaccinate later in life.

Measles

Measles is a highly infectious virus-borne illness. It can be serious and even deadly for small children. A cough or sneeze from an infected individual might transmit the virus. It can survive for up to two hours in the air where the infected person coughed or sneezed. Some of the measles symptoms include runny nose, fever, red eyes, cough, sore throat, and a red, raised, blotchy rash. If you don’t have immunity to measles and are exposed to fluid from an infected person’s nose or mouth via airborne droplets, you could catch it by sharing food or drinks or direct contact with secretions.

Bottom Line

This article outlines the most common diseases caused by a virus. Viruses take a wide range of forms, relying on different routes of entry and different methods for survival in hosts. They cause diseases that can be mild, serious, or even fatal to humans and other animals and plants. Viral diseases are usually contagious, even from one person to another, and spread rapidly from one gro

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Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.
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