Learn about common RNA viruses that affect humans
An RNA virus is a virus that has RNA (ribonucleic acid) as its genetic material. RNA is the central molecule in the synthesis of proteins in cells. In RNA viruses, viral RNA serves as a template for the synthesis of viral proteins, which are then assembled into new virions. RNA viruses can replicate and spread rapidly within host cells, and they can cause various diseases in humans and other animals. Some examples of RNA viruses include coronavirus, influenza virus, Ebola virus, and HIV.
Coronavirus: This virus is a common cause of respiratory infections in humans, and several coronaviruses have caused large outbreaks or epidemics in recent history. Probably the most well-known of these is SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 epidemic that began in 2019. Read More:- Vaccines and new variants: The next generation of vaccines in 2023 will change the world.
Other coronaviruses that have caused outbreaks in humans include SARS-CoV-1 (the virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002-2004), MERS-CoV (the virus that caused the MERS outbreak in 2012), and others.
Influenza virus: Influenza (also known as “the flu”) is a viral infection that infects the respiratory system. Influenza viruses are RNA viruses and come in four types (A, B, C, D). Influenza A viruses are the most common cause of seasonal flu outbreaks, and they can also cause epidemics if a new flu strain emerges that can spread easily between humans.
Several influenza epidemics have occurred in human history, including the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1919, which is estimated to have infected one-third of the world’s population and killed tens of millions of people.
Ebola virus: Ebola virus is an RNA virus that causes a severe and often fatal disease called Ebola virus disease. There have been outbreaks of Ebola in several countries in Africa, and sporadic cases of the virus have also occurred elsewhere in the world.
The best-known Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa from 2014-2016, and it was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history. Read More:- Two new viruses of the new cryo: the strongest XBB virus can damage the brain
HIV: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is an RNA virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV attacks the immune system, weakening the body’s ability to fight infection and disease. HIV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, but it can also be transmitted through contaminated blood products, and from mother to child during childbirth or breastfeeding. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a major impact on global health and affects millions of people around the world.
Vaccines sprayed into the nose or throat create immunity in the cells that first come into contact with the virus, thereby immediately stopping the spread of the virus and preventing the molecular responses in the body that lead to COVID-19 infection.
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What’s more, the vaccine prevents transmission, something first-generation vaccines failed to do. In September 2022, India and China passed the nasal and oral spray vaccines, but data on their efficacy have not yet been released. Other vaccines are being developed in Western countries, some of which have shown promising results in early clinical trials.
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Scientists are also working to develop vaccines that can protect against any future variants of the new coronavirus, some of which target specific coronaviruses, including the four seasonal cold coronaviruses, or more harmful infectious diseases such as the original SARS virus. Large-scale human trials of some vaccines will begin in 2023, and with luck, a broad-spectrum coronavirus vaccine could be available in 2024.