viral infection


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viral infection

any of the diseases caused by one of approximately 200 viruses pathogenic to humans. Some are the most communicable and dangerous diseases known; some cause mild and transient conditions that pass virtually unnoticed. If cells are damaged by the viral attack, disease exists. The signs of the infection reflect the anatomical location of the damaged cells. Viruses are introduced into the body through nonintact skin or mucous membranes or through a transfusion into the bloodstream or transplantation, by droplet infection through the respiratory tract, or by ingestion through the digestive tract into the GI system. The pathogenicity of the particular virus depends on the rapidity of replication, the enzymes released, the part of the body infected, and the particular action of the virus. After it enters the body, the virus attaches to and enters a cell. The virus directs the cell to produce new virions, using chemical building blocks and energy available in the parasitized cell. The virus has now taken over the cell. After a variable period of time, masses of fully grown viruses appear, each able to survive outside the cell until more susceptible cells are found. In poliovirus infection, one parasitized cell may produce more than 100,000 poliovirus particles in a few hours. Techniques used in viral identification and immunization are based on the essential fact that viruses can multiply only inside living cells. Inoculation of susceptible animals, tissue culture media, and chick embryos allows cultivation of viruses for study and identification and for the preparation of vaccine. Other techniques can also be used in the diagnosis of the cause of viral infection, including serological tests, fluorescent antibody microscopic examination, microscopic examination, and skin tests. In many viral diseases, including mumps, smallpox, and measles, one attack confers permanent immunity. In others, immunity is short-lived. The incubation period for viral infection is usually short, the viruses do not circulate in the bloodstream, antibodies do not form, and most often immunity does not develop. Exposure to a few viruses results in immunity to that virus and to other closely related viruses. Some vectors are able to spread several viruses, but only one at a time. Mechanisms of natural resistance to viral infection are poorly understood, but susceptibility to a particular virus is somehow species-specific; for example, chickenpox, caused by the varicella zoster virus, is seen only in humans. A protective substance, interferon, is elaborated naturally in small amounts in the body. It is cell-specific and species-specific but not virus-specific. Interferon may act as a broad spectrum antiviral agent, protecting the body from the effects of many viral infections, stopping the synthesis of viral nucleic acid within the parasitized cell. See also specific viral infections. Also called viral disease.

Patient discussion about viral infection

Q. What are the causes of viral blisters on the skin? For a few months now I've been having these hard viral blisters on my fingers. The only way to get rid of them is with freezed carbon. It does go away with that treatment- after a few weeks but then a new one appears. How can I prevent it from "attacking" again??

A. These viral blisters you are describing are caused by HPV (papilloma virus), and are very hard to get rid of without treatment with freezed carbon. Many of us have the virus but not everyone gets the actual infection. There is not a proved way of preventing from it to happen again after treatment, unfortunately..

More discussions about viral infection
References in periodicals archive ?
Vernon Philander has been admitted to hospital and is being treated for a probable viral infection.
A large percentage of patients with KD have a concurrent or recent history of respiratory viral infections and [this study] suggests that clinicians should not dismiss the diagnosis of KD based on the presence of respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms or solely on the results of a positive respiratory viral PCR test," the researchers wrote.
We showed that EPs 7630 had significant improving effects on upper respiratory tract viral infections.
A host-based RT-PCR gene expression signature to identify acute respiratory viral infection [abstract].
We are delighted to add this new patent to our expanding intellectual property portfolio of microRNAs in viral infection.
These findings demonstrate that short-term treatment with the pelargonium extract EPs[R]7630 markedly improved symptoms of upper respiratory tract viral infection and significantly reduced the incidence of asthma attack frequency in susceptible children.
New DNA viruses identified in patients with acute viral infection syndrome.
Butler spent three days at Antelope Valley Hospital, where doctors diagnosed symptoms originally feared to caused by a heart attack to be the result of an unspecified viral infection.
I'm not sure of the exact cause but it's some sort of viral infection,' said Dr Davidson.
Given the nature of HIV--its high mutation rate, its tendency to preferentially infect HIV-specific CD4 T cells, and its ability to persist in memory cells--it seems unlikely that antiretrovirals alone will ever be sufficient to provide effective long-term control of this viral infection.
We might expect that in addition to using genetic engineering and vaccines to prevent viral infections, otologists might eventually be able to treat and eliminate the offending viruses to prevent hearing los s or restore hearing.
Commonly proposed theories of etiology include a persistent viral infection, primary muscle disorder, chronic immune dysfunction, neuroendocrine disorder, primary sleep disorder, and neuropsychiatric disorders (Farrar et al.