There are many types of viruses and bacteria, which can lead to different kinds of infections. Some viruses, such as the flu virus, can cause respiratory infection, while others, such as HIV, can cause a more severe and life-threatening illness. Bacteria can also lead to infectious diseases, ranging from mild to severe. For example, strep throat is a bacterial infection that includes antibiotics in treatment, while severe cases, such as tuberculosis require more aggressive treatment. Going by this, one may wonder what they are while worrying about their health. Since it is a complex subject, let’s focus on some specifics to keep things simple and easy to absorb.
Delving into Viruses
Viruses come in different forms and shapes, but they can all cause the same kind of pain and suffering. Some viruses are hazardous, and others aren’t so bad, but none come without complications for the living cells. Just take Influenza C, for instance. It is cold flu to humans but can kill some bird species outright! They are also exceedingly numerous, infecting most cells in existence. While they can be incurable, vaccinations have proven to slow the spread of these diseases.
Just as humans survive through eating food and drinking water, viruses require a host cell to reproduce. Those who transmit faster will have a higher R rating. For example, COVID’s 1.4 rating indicates it can only infect an additional four people. Another familiar virus-like, Influenza, usually can infect at least one more person. These viruses use different mediums to attack a host, such as contaminated water, droplets of cough and sneezes, sweat, blood, and others.
Interestingly, some can survive outside on the surfaces before getting transferred to an organism through contact. Although these are dangerous, clean surfaces can get rid of them.
Some of the well-known viral diseases that inflicted humans from time to time include smallpox, polio, hepatitis, shingles, chickenpox, measles, Ebola, HIV, SARS, etc. Remember,
most viruses remain potent during a specific timeframe – Chickenpox can be contagious even after five days of its appearance, and coronavirus can infect others in the first 14 days. However, the spread risk is highest when they elicit their first symptoms. For more, you can read the details on MyBioSource.
Exploring the World of Bacteria
Bacteria are tiny living organisms that can sometimes be helpful but cause frequent infection. They typically have a morphology based on the different shapes: commas or vibrios, spheres or cocci, spirals or spirilla, rods or bacilli, and corkscrews or spirochaetes. It can sound surprising, but a human cell contains approximately ten bacteria, which mostly remain in the digestive system. You also come across many suitable types of bacteria, and some can even help build immunity.
Bacteria can reproduce through cellular division, also known as binary fission. In this process, a single cell can split itself into two identical copies of that cell. While this may seem like a slow reproduction method, one cell of E. coli can multiply over seven hours, creating 2,097,152 cells in a suitable environment. One more hour, this number can shoot up to 16,777,216. For quick reproduction, bacteria have evolved several strategies to ensure they stay alive in a harsh world that is constantly changing. For example, some bacteria create a defensive structure that keeps them safe against high temperatures and UV rays.
Virus vs Bacteria
Viruses can only reproduce by infecting other cells, while bacteria can reproduce on their own. Additionally, viruses are much simpler than bacteria, consisting of little more than a piece of genetic material (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat. On the other hand, bacteria are more complex, consisting of a cell membrane, a cell wall, and various internal structures. Nevertheless, the fact is both can make you very sick. So it’s crucial to learn about them. If the proper treatment can get you rid of them, any wrong step can only add to your health woes, as suggested by MyBioSource.
Knowing that antiviral drugs target viruses and antibiotics kill or weaken bacterial attacks can be helpful. Antiviral medicines can be of two types – broad spectrum and narrow spectrum. A broad-spectrum therapy can deal with many viruses, while another tackles a specific variety. Cases like HIV and AIDS compelled scientists to develop antiviral drugs. Today, doctors treat diseases like COVID, Influenza A&B, and Hepatitis incidences, among others. Some believe bacterial infections can be easy to fight because of our deep knowledge about them and the ongoing development of different treatments. You can expect an antibiotic drug to treat your condition in two weeks. Because these come with side effects, physicians recommend them only when compulsory.
These are different organisms, but their effect on your health can be deadly. Hence, it is better to protect yourself. Currently, COVID is one of the looming conditions – measures like vaccination, masking, and others can keep you largely safe.