Questions tagged [virus]

For questions about how viruses influence your health. General questions about viruses are off-topic but might be asked on Biology Stack Exchange; for questions about computer viruses, try Super User or Security Stack Exchange.

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33
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5answers
14k views

Does COVID-19 have a case fatality rate of 41%? Is this formula correct?

According to the data on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracker, as of 3rd February 2020 there were 17491 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, 536 total recoveries and 362 deaths. From my non-expert ...
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3answers
8k views

Father gets chickenpox, but doesn't infect his two children. How is this possible?

My brother in law got chickenpox, yet somehow he didn't infect my two nephews, even though they are living together. According to wikipedia, varicella has an infection rate of 90%: Varicella is ...
21
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2answers
1k views

What is the main way COVID-19 spreads?

Reading numerous news articles about COVID-19, I got confused as to what is its main transmission route. In particular, I am confused as to whether it is direct landing of respiratory droplets in ...
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2answers
360 views

Is HIV the cause of AIDS?

That HIV causes AIDS always seemed like an obvious fact to me, this seemed to be the widely accepted opinion. But just now I found the article "Questioning the HIV-AIDS hypothesis: 30 years of dissent"...
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2answers
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Why do corticosteroids harm COVID-19 patients?

This Science Daily article states that steroids could do more harm than good in treating coronavirus (COVID-19), referring to this The Lancet article. Understanding the evidence for harm or ...
15
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2answers
5k views

A cheap and easy inactivated vaccine for COVID-19

Suppose a person with COVID-19 coughs into a bag. Let the bag sit in the sun for, say, 72 hours -- so as to make the virus inactive. Could a healthy person breathe in the inactivated virus from the ...
15
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3answers
5k views

If a SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic infected individual is exposed to a high viral load, could they develop COVID-19 disease?

I would add my own research if I could to respect site rules, but I can't. There are no studies on SARS-CoV-2, all I can find is for SARS-CoV-1 and some Chinese information based studies. My ...
13
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1answer
1k views

2019 Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) lifetime outside an organism

How long will it remain potent outside an organism? I'm thinking in the context of if it can survive a couple of weeks or a month in the mail for the recipient to get infected. Edit: I tried ...
12
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2answers
611 views

What happens to HIV once it completely destroys the immune system?

Today, in my high school health class we were learning about HIV and AIDS, and I was wondering what would happen to HIV if it killed off all of the cells that it uses to reproduce. For example, ...
10
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2answers
261 views

STI vs STD vs Sexually Transmitted Virus

I am very confused as in my answer to Why is HIV singled out from other STIs? I agreed with the OP that HIV is an STI. I have been led to believe the following definitions: STI Stands for Sexually ...
10
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1answer
1k views

I have natural immunity to Hepatitis B. Do I pose risk to others?

Some time ago I was rejected as donor and received following rejection letter: Just wanted to inform you that there was a positive infectious disease result for Hepatitis B. Unfortunately, we ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Do I have to wait after a tick bite to get vaccinated for encephalitis?

I recently removed a tick I must have caught while camping. Thinking of my plans for the summer (which involve frequently changing clothes in the wilderness), I realized I'd like to get a vaccination ...
9
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0answers
155 views

Is there any figure about the accuracy of COVID-19 tests? [duplicate]

Recently I saw the local media (Romania) presenting a case that was initially considered COVID-19 positive and two subsequent tests led to negative results. As far as I know no official bothered to ...
8
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2answers
221 views

What's the cutoff age for concern with the Zika virus in infants?

CNN is reporting that there is a potentially serious outbreak of this "Zika virus." From all the blogs and articles out there on Zika, it is obvious that this virus is a serious threat to pregnant ...
8
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1answer
44k views

Can shingles on one part of my body spread to another?

I broke out with shingles to my face. Can I spread the virus to other parts of my own body (for example, to my nasal mucosa) by scratching? I've googled and found contradictory information. Some ...
8
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1answer
196 views

Why is it not possible to get HIV by touching a contaminated surface?

I was wondering if one could get HIV from basically touching a surface which has had viral DNA extract, serum, or blood on it; and then touching their (bleeding) pimple or acne, or any other open area ...
8
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1answer
108 views

How to tell if the common cold has turned to an infection

I am very susceptible to the common cold. I get it at least 2 - 3 times a year. Sometimes it goes away in a couple of days, sometimes it develops into a nasty throat/lung infection with an awful cough ...
7
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1answer
212 views

Are betadine mouthwashes really effective against COVID-19?

Recently news have come up that betadine/povidone-iodine mouthwashes should be used for prevention of COVID-19. Betadine is an antiseptic. We use it in our clinic to clean a wound or after minor ...
7
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1answer
107 views

Does stopping fever hinder the process of killing bacteria via fever?

Since the body produces fever in order to kill bacteria, wouldn't decreasing the fever by taking anti fever medication decrease the body's ability to fight the bacteria? Assuming you have non life ...
7
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2answers
219 views

Why are people so worried about 2019-nCoV? [closed]

EDIT: After reading the comments and learning more about the current outbreak, I see that the premise of my question is incorrect. I mistakenly believed that the virus' mortality rate was around the ...
7
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1answer
72 views

How can there be a level of HIV viral load that will make infecting others impossible?

I just read about a court case where someone was acquitted for "being dangerous to the surrounding" by having unprotected sex when diagnosed with HIV. The reasoning was that since this person was ...
7
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2answers
232 views

How accurate is testing for HSV-2?

I've never had any symptoms of a Herpes simplex virus 2 infection. However, I want to find out if I carry this type of virus in my body. Is it true that there is an antibody test to answer that ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Does bleach have to be diluted to be more effective to kill virus?

This page Bleach claims Bleach is more effective at killing germs when diluted than when used straight out of the bottle. this other page (Spanish) Alcohol and Bleach are more effective against ...
5
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2answers
114 views

Is there a virus from which humans can recover, but which doesn't grant long lasting immunity?

Prior to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic I was under the impression that viruses fall into two categories: Diseases from which you recover and afterwards become fully immune. When reinfected with a mutated ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Does fasting improve your immune system even when you are already having some infection?

I am one of the self-motivated activists who run some groups to answer various misconceptions about science and try to fight against ignorance, pseudo-sciences and blind faiths. I was recently asked ...
5
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1answer
646 views

What happens to viruses that causes them to die?

It's been said that SARS-CoV-2 can remain on surfaces up to 9 or 10 days. While I read that smallpox can survive out of a host even for years. As much as I know, since viruses are only protein ...
5
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1answer
91 views

Does viral load of the initial COVID-19 infection affect its severity?

If someone gets infected by a droplet containing a high load of the SARS-CoV-2 virus would he be more likely to develop more severe symptoms compared to someone who gets infected by a droplet ...
4
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5answers
347 views

Is the washing hands in order to protect yourself from COVID-19 backed up by research?

I have been hearing a lot of people say that it is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly in order to maximise protection against COVID-19 infection. I also heard that the washing hands rumours are ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Are motorcycle helmets effective in preventing Corona?

Can a full-head helmet with the visor closed prevent getting infected by the Corona virus during a casual interaction with a carrier? For example, when buying something at a store or discussing ...
4
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2answers
3k views

If I microwave an infected piece of, let's say, cloth, for a minute or two, would it become disinfected?

This article suggests temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit kill viruses. So, forgive my ignorance on the subject, but does this mean that if I microwave a potentially infected (i.e. with viruses ...
4
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1answer
232 views

What are the limits on the amount of pathogens that a body can be immune to at any given time?

Before the seasonal flu vaccine was recommended for all healthy adults, people in developed countries might get vaccinated against on the order of 10 different pathogens and develop immunity for some ...
4
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1answer
49 views

How do we know that the Spanish flu was an influenza? [closed]

Many diseases of the respiratory tract present as having “Flu like symptoms” how do we know that the 1918 Spanish flu was a strain of influenza and not some virus with similar symptoms?
4
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1answer
56 views

How do you distinguish between “cure” and “recovery” in terms of medical terminology?

​‎I hear a lot of people using the words "cure" and "recovery" interchangeably. Are these two words interchangable in epidemiology? What's the difference between these two in terms of medical ...
4
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1answer
87 views

What would happen to the body if the immune system failed to respond to a rhinovirus?

What exactly would happen to the body if the immune system did not detect or respond to a the common cold virus like Rhinovirus?
4
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1answer
35 views

What receptors are targeted by the seasonal coronaviruses that primarily present as winter colds?

We know that SARS-CoV-2 appears to mainly attack animal cells by the ACE2 receptor, MERS-CoV by the DPP-4 receptor, and SARS-CoV also by the ACE2 receptor. Do we know what receptors are targeted by ...
4
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2answers
102 views

Can you recover from COVID-19, and then be reinfected so as to be a danger to other people?

Assuming I've contracted COVID-19 this January and made a full recovery and the antibodies have already left my body again. Now, I come into contact with someone who is sick and I inhale some COVID-19 ...
4
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1answer
119 views

Would symptoms differ from eating virus contaminated food versus breathing in virus?

Would symptoms differ from eating virus contaminated food versus breathing in virus? Would symptoms be a good indicator where the virus is located? The COVID-19 causes respiratory symptoms and I guess ...
4
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1answer
260 views

Who came up with the SARS-CoV-2 name?

I know that the WHO came up with the COVID-19 name, but I see big publisher (Springer) also using "SARS-CoV-2" seemingly to refer to the same thing. To be more technically correct, they say the ...
4
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1answer
163 views

Coronavirus conspiracy theory (HIV biological weapon) [closed]

There's a ridiculous conspiracy theory spreading that coronavirus is a genetically modified biological weapon gone rogue. According to one theory, the virus has traces of HIV and is designed to attack ...
4
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1answer
62 views

Do humidifiers help cure the flu?

According to this report, absolute humidity affects transmission and survival of the influenza virus with 90% accuracy. Lower humidity at winter promotes both the influenza virus transmission and its ...
4
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1answer
82 views

How did COVID-19 jump the species barrier?

I am not a medical professional. I also do not have enough knowledge on medicine or biology. But I have been wondering a lot about one question in particular for some time: How did COVID-19 jump the ...
4
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1answer
613 views

How mutable is SARS-CoV-2 virus?

As it commonly known, mutability is a fundamental characteristic of viruses which presents the ability of virus genome to adapt to physical circumstances, prevent and circumvent vaccine effect and to ...
4
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2answers
46 views

Can microbes be bred to be less infectious?

It was a strange idea that popped into my head. Could wild infectious microbes be bred (directed evolution) by some mechanism (such as through hypothetical drug therapies) to "domesticate" them and ...
4
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1answer
382 views

Does immunity to some coronavirus confer any immunity to other strains?

Genetic sequencing of COVID-19 in China in December 2019 revealed two strains of the virus, identified as S and L, with S being the ancestral version while L was more prevalent (70:30 ratio) and more ...
4
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1answer
639 views

Can viruses be inherited?

In theory, any virus capable of infecting germ cells can plant its genetic load into the sperm/ova that will eventually become offspring. So are most viruses inheritable? Really, if your parents ever ...
4
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0answers
67 views

How long does it take for the COVID-19 antibody to disappear?

I saw a news article says; 90 days after the infection with ncov19, several patients had no detectable antibodies in their bloodstream. This seems to be one of their evidence that immunity against ...
4
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0answers
31 views

How are drugs encapsidated?

I recently came across "drug encapsidation". So far, I have come to understand that it is a technique to insert drug particles/molecules in the protein shell of a virus, namely the capsid. But I ...
4
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0answers
61 views

Does vomiting while feeling nausea from stomach flu make it easier or harder for the body to recover?

I was talking with somebody who believes that when having stomach flu (gastroenteritis) and feeling nausea, you should try to vomit. This person's theory is that the stomach flu virus makes some foods ...
3
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3answers
145 views

Is outside food really safe to eat during COVID-19 outbreak?

There are 2 contradicting messages out there that mandate this question: "It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching ...
3
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2answers
183 views

Could an infinitesimal amount of Covid-19 be used to trigger immune response?

Could one be injected with an infinitesimal amount of Covid-19 viral particles, in a way that it would trigger an immune response long enough before the virus overran the body? Could it be injected ...