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6 Interesting Facts About Viruses You Need to Know

    What do people today know about viruses? Despite all the research and virus technology dedicated to learning about these elusive organisms, it’s never enough to answer even a fraction of the questions they provoke.

    Would you like to know some interesting facts about viruses? We don’t necessarily mean fun facts about viruses, but definitely ones worth knowing.

    If so, keep reading. We guarantee you’ll finish wanting even more virus facts!

    1. Yellow Fever Was the First Known Human Virus

    In 1881, Cuban physician Carlos Finlay (1833–1915) conducted and published research speculating that mosquitoes caused yellow fever due to the virus they carried.

    In 1900, a commission headed by Walter Reed (1851–1902) proved that theory.

    1. Viruses Don’t Respond to Antibiotics

    Sadly, many people use antibiotics to treat viruses like colds and flu. If these drugs appear to work, it’s only thanks to the human body’s immune system.

    Not only is a needless antibiotic unwarranted. It makes the existing antibiotic supply less effective at treating dangerous bacterial infections.

    1. No One Is Sure If Viruses Are Alive

    Many biologists say viruses aren’t alive. Since they don’t comprise cells, viruses can’t remain stable. They don’t grow or make their own energy. And although they replicate and adapt to environments, viruses are more like AI than living organisms.

    Still, for some researchers, the “alive or not” question rests on how you define life. There are lots of mitigating factors to account for.

    1. The 1918 Spanish Flu Virus Was Reconstructed in 2005

    In 2005, the CDC released a fascinating study. Wanting to understand virulence and the disease process better, researchers recovered and analyzed genes from the bodies of 1918 pandemic victims.

    Fortunately, current antiviral medications and vaccines are effective against 1918’s H1N1 virus. So there’s no need to stop COVID-19 precautions to worry about the earlier pandemic having a resurgence.

    For more information on today’s COVID-19 vaccine, its effectiveness, and how well current vaccines will treat variant strains, check out the link here.

    1. HPV Is Riskier Than You Might Realize

    Did you know that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI)? Genital warts are an early symptom of this virus, which can be detected using pap smears.

    And while doctors can remove recurring warts, the risk of cervical, oropharyngeal, and other cancers remain.

    A vaccine to prevent the HPV strains that are most likely to cause cervical cancer and genital warts is recommended for pre-teens aged ten to twelve. It can be administered through age 26 (later, with a doctor’s recommendation).

    1. Strep Throat Is a Bacterial Infection

    Viruses like colds and flu cause many sore throats. Allergies lead to others. More still have physical reasons, like shouting too much. But strep throat comes from bacterial infections.

    Like many viruses, strep spreads easily. But with strep, you can make the sore throat go away in a day or two with an antibiotic — not wait for a virus to run its course.

    If the strep doesn’t disappear, ask your doctor for another antibiotic.

    Never Too Many Interesting Facts About Viruses

    Undoubtedly, viruses challenge modern medicine. Among the tiniest microorganisms to infect humans and other animal species, observing and studying viruses requires powerful virus technology.

    That’s why it’s a wonder the COVID-19 vaccines were ready so fast. It took huge amounts of time and many thousands of scientific and medical specialists for this urgent work.

    So, we’ve shared some interesting facts about viruses. If you want to read more about viruses, illness, or health generally, watch our site for upcoming articles.