A virus is defined as any of a various number of submicroscopic parasites that can infect any animal, plant or bacteria and often lead to very serious or even deadly diseases. A virus consists of a core of RNA or DNA, generally surrounded by a protein, lipid or glycoprotein coat, or some combination of the three. No virus can replicate without the help of a host cell, and though they can be spread, viruses lack the ability of self-reproduction and are not always considered to be living organisms in the regular sense. Some of the most common or best known viruses include the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is the virus that causes AIDS, the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, smallpox, multiple sclerosis, and the human papilloma virus, now believed to be a leading cause of cervical cancer in adult women. The common human cold is also caused by a virus. Since a great deal of mystery still surrounds the origins of most modern viruses, ways to cure these viruses and the diseases they cause are still in the very early stages of development.
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Zika Vaccines Are in the Works, But Still Years Away
February 9th, 2016
Demands for Zika prevention are urgent, but the road to a viable vaccine is long and expensive.
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Virus Linked to Birth Defects Requires Action, Doctors Say
January 14th, 2016
Experts evaluate the threat posed by Zika virus, a denguelike illness that in recent months has spread rapidly across the Americas and has been linked to birth defects.
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MERS Vaccine Protects Camels, Which Is Good for People
camel, sick, mers
December 17th, 2015
Could treating camels help humans?
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Zika Prevention: The Buzz on Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
zika, mosquito, aedes aegypti
February 2nd, 2016
Scientists are exploring the possibility of using genetically modified mosquitoes to curb the spread of the Zika virus.
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Whooping Cough Outbreak: How Effective Is the Vaccine?
A young boy receives a vaccination from his doctor.
January 13th, 2016
An outbreak of whooping cough in Florida was surprising to health authorities there -- most of the people who got sick had been fully vaccinated.
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Shingles Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke
blood pressure, blood pressure cuff, heart
December 15th, 2015
What to worry about after a bout of shingles.
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The Science of Vitamin C: Can Taking It Prevent a Cold?
sneeze, sick, cold, allergies
November 6th, 2015
Vitamin C may have a modest effect on how long colds last, but it's unlikely to ward off the wintertime sniffles completely, evidence suggests.
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Zika Virus Spreading in the Americas: What You Should Know
December 14th, 2015
Health officials raise concerns about Zika virus, a denguelike infection spreading rapidly in the Americas.
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