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Beware! Viruses On The Prowl

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Everyone dreads catching a viral infection. The word "virus" has its origin in Latin, which means slimy liquid or poison, and it has been associated with a number of disease outbreaks, epidemic, and pandemic.

Since viruses are devoid of many of the features of living things, say, they lack a cellular structure and are unable to grow or reproduce on their own, many biologists consider them to be non-living.

Living or non-living, the viruses wreak havoc on susceptible animals, birds, and humans.

Antibiotic drugs can kill bacteria by disintegrating their cell wall or by inhibiting their ability to divide or reproduce. But they cannot treat viral infections. Since the virus gets into our own body cells and hides there, antibiotics cannot target the virus.

Therefore, it is best not to use an antibiotic for a viral infection because it will only build up antibiotic resistance in the body and may lead to side effects.

The first virus shown to be able to infect humans is the yellow fever virus.

Scientists believe that yellow fever evolved in Africa around 3,000 years ago. It is caused by Flavivirus and is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. In modern times, the country that is most affected by yellow fever is Brazil.

According to the World Health Organization, in the current 2018- 2019 season (July 2018 to March 2019), a total of 75 confirmed human cases of yellow fever, including 17 deaths have been reported in Brazil in the states of São Paulo Paraná and Santa Catarina.

Now, let's take a look at some of the other viruses that are posing a constant threat to mankind.

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