Are You Chicken of Viruses?

Ashley Anchundia, Kierstin Rosipal

About A Virus

A virus has three structures; the protein coat, DNA or RNA, and an enzyme. The protein coat, also called the capsid or envelope, can have a lipid membrane that surrounds around it. The capsid surrounds the DNA or RNA in a virus.

A virus can attach itself to a host cell in a living thing and reproduce in order to thrive and be more abundant. In order to reproduce, a virus will first attach itself to a host cell and then inject its genetic material. Once within the cell, it can replicate itself and make more copies. After the copies are made and assembled, then they break through the cell.

A virus is much smaller than a bacteria or animal cell due to the fact that it has to go inside the cells or bacteria and also it is a simplified version of a cell.

Since they are simplified versions of a cell, they do not have most of the characteristics that cells have. They do not obtain energy or react to their environment and they also do not grow/develop.

Watch Out for the Chicken Pox!

The Chicken Pox disease is raging around town! This disease is caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus and usually starts out as a rash on the skin. This disease is common in children.

A person who obtains this disease will usually have symptoms such as:

  • Itchy Skin
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Red Skin
  • Crusts and Scabs

The Chicken Pox disease is not a major health issue, especially in people who have good immune systems. Most cases are mild, but the disease results in about 100 deaths per year and about 11,000 hospitalizations. It is an air born disease and can be spread amongst people through touch. It usually lasts about five to seven days.

Some treatments can be at home, such as an oatmeal bath and calamine lotion. You can also take over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, but NEVER take aspirin as a child because it is associated with Reyes Syndrome and the liver. If the disease becomes more serious, consult your Health Care Provider. A doctor can give you antiviral medications.

You can prevent the Chicken Pox virus by getting the chicken pox vaccine.

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