How Does a Virus Become Viral?

Viruses are extremely small, very complex and have incredible power to effect our bodies negatively. They are incredibly abundant. There are approximately 100 viruses in a single drop of sea water as opposed to there being more humans alive on earth than there are planets in the entire universe. And there are possibly more viruses floating around in our sewage systems than there are pathogens in outer space. So the chances of you getting sick from a virus is pretty darn good.


The virus’ name is a virus because it is made up of a protein. These proteins are then packaged into a virus or a piece of a virus. A piece of the virus can be composed of two different types: a provirus and an antigen. An antigen is any type of protein that can code to a specific cell entry, while a virus generally only has one specific destination, the human host immune system.

Some viruses are multicellular, which means they are present in multicellular organisms such as plants, bacteria and other organisms. A virus that is found in nature is usually lentiviruses; the most common example of which is the SARS virus. Lendiviruses are lentiviruses that affect the skin, hair and other parts of the body. These types of viruses tend to attack younger children. Multicellular viruses, however, can infect any living cell in the human body.

A virus consists of a pair of genetic elements, also known as genes, which are passed along from one generation to the next. The genetic material contained within a virus is a single-stranded DNA (ss) and long double-stranded DNA (ds). The DNA contained within a virus is similar to that of other naturally occurring organisms. A common example of a genetic material found within a virus is the genetic material that encodes the protein capsid, which is part of every virus.

The capsid is enclosed within a viral envelope (also called the capsus). The envelope is released from a virus when a new infection occurs. The viral envelope then goes on to reproduce itself inside living cells, creating a new virus. The capsid is released from a newly infected cell by the viral protein using a ribosome. The viral proteins use RNases (nucleases) to attach themselves to the capsid and to the DNA inside the cell.

The dna particles are then directed to replicate themselves inside the host cell, creating a new virus. The DNA particles then make their way into the new virus’ genome, where the coding is performed. This entire process is called transcription. Transcription ensures that the genetic material is used in developing the virus before it becomes functional; it also ensures that the virus stays alive once it makes it way out of the cell.