How does a Virus survive

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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How does a Virus survive

Post by Flatterling » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:16 pm


I am new in this forum and I hope that my amateurish questions are okay...

My first question may be sort of critical because it is about viruses, they are not really living beings, nontheless.
How do they "survive"? Every year the influenza kills a lot of people. The dangerous time is the late winter, as far as I know.
(I am in Germany, by the way). There are viral shockwaves every year but how does for example this virus do this?
Is there some scheme?
I would expect from "them" to be tricky. Be there where the beings are weaker than usual. Winter. So does the virus spread out
always from the cold to the warmer parts? From a physical perspection: Are they part of the air or do they necessarily sink down?
If so, if they sink down, if I touch something infected in June, did "they survive"?
Is it just my body beeing more resistent in summer times?

Thanks for your comments and best wishes,

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Re: How does a Virus survive

Post by claudepa » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:04 am

Hi, I cannot answer all your questions. But to the question of is a virus a living entity my feeling is: It is a question a the definition of what is life. For some life is where are nucleic acids which contain the genetic information. According to this definition a virus can be considered as a living entity. For other life is self reproduction of the organism. Then a virus is not a living organism since it needs to infect a cell to reproduce.

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Re: How does a Virus survive

Post by jonmoulton » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:06 pm

The reservoir of infective viruses is usually within hosts, though the virus can remain infective in the environment for a while. Influenza can replicate in several species, including humans, chickens and pigs. It is usually transmitted between people by aerosol droplets expelled by an infected organism's sneeze, by direct contact or by contact with objects bearing the virus after contact with an infected person.

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Post by Darby » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:27 pm

Viruses have casings that vary in "toughness" from one type to another - HIV doesn't do well dry, but influenza actually does better in warm, dry conditions. It will last on indoor surfaces. This is why flu season corresponds to winter-indoor season.

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