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Viruses

Viruses

Viruses can kill twice as many people as cancer does. Vaccines have saved many lives. However, most viruses have no cure. COVID-19 is a viral infection because it is from the newly identified coronavirus, and it spreads through respiratory droplets. All viruses are like an outer shell of protein that carries the DNA of the virus. Despite its features, various viruses can cause diseases from the flu and common cold to AIDS.

Antibodies are one of the weapons in contrast to viruses in the arsenal of our immune system. These are a molecule created by our white blood cells to help fight off attackers and keep us healthy. Each person has more than 10 billion different types of antibodies. Although it has the same basic ‘Y’ shape, antibodies can have any form at their ends. Antibodies with the right structure for a virus will stick into it and alert your cells to destroy the virus.

Antibiotics, Antigens, and Antibodies

  • Antibiotics kill bacteria and unable to neutralize viruses.  
  • Antigens cause the body to make antibodies. Antibodies bind antigens very precisely, which neutralizes the virus and prevent its further spread.
  • Antibodies are proteins that identify and bind parts of the virus to neutralize them. These are from the white blood cells and a significant part of the body’s response to a viral infection.

Viruses Being Alive

Viruses are much unassuming than other organisms that people consider alive. However, simple does not necessarily mean not alive. Viruses must also use the host cell and its complex machinery to reproduce. Here are some commonly used lists of features that most accepted living beings share:

  • Evolution
  • Organization
  • Responding to stimuli
  • Homeostasis
  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Growth

Human beings do all these things, but viruses do only four of them. Viruses do not grow, metabolize, or maintain a constant internal environment. Therefore, viruses are not alive through this. They are the ultimate freeloaders that sneak into our cells, eat our food, and rely on our homeostasis.

Vaccination

A virus vaccine contains a virus. It is either weakened, dead, a slightly different version of the virus it protects you. Intentionally injecting a virus may seem to be a strange approach to prevent infections, but it is an effective strategy. The immune system makes lots of antibodies with the right shape for the vaccine virus after responding to the vaccine. Your immune system remembers the forms of useful antibodies once you’ve made it to a target. It means that if you’ve had the vaccine and get infected by a real virus, your immune system already has a head start and quickly makes lots of the right kind of antibodies. Wherein, as a result, it destroys the virus before it has the chance to spread through your body and make you ill.

In 1796, there is the first successful vaccine for the smallpox virus. It had killed about 500 million people in the 20th century. The vaccine protected people from infection, and each individual around the world has it. In the year of 1979, smallpox was officially to be extinct. It is an incredible example of how potent antibodies and vaccines could protect us from any infection.