The most common diseases caused by viruses include ebola, influenza, yellow fever, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV / AIDS), human papillomavirus (HPV), viral gastroenteritis, varicella, and viral hepatitis, among others.
To diseases caused by viruses, they are known as diseases or viral infections. These are caused by infectious agents that live and propagate into living cell units.
These infectious agents are known as viruses. A virus can be defined as a microscopic pathogen, much smaller than most bacteria (Mandal, 2013). They consist of a coating of protein and genetic material inside.
Viruses are the most numerous biological structures on the planet, being very dangerous for humans because they can cause infections and diseases of all kinds.
The diseases they cause range from the cold to diseases as serious as HIV / AIDS.
A disease does not always appear when a virus is acquired, because the immune system may be able to fight it. However, some viruses can attack certain cells, multiply within them and propagate.
Cells of the immune system attacking viruses.
For the generality of viral diseases, treatments only improve symptoms while the immune system attacks the virus.
Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to deal with and vaccines can make it more difficult to spread.
Viruses can remain in the cell without damaging it, making it a carrier. The patient appears healthy, but infection may occur after a latency period (Medline Plus, 2017).
In the organism it can give a form of immunity that lasts a long time, because the virus enters, the organism confronts it and it remembers producing specific antibodies against him avoiding to re-acquire it.
Major diseases caused by viruses
1 - Ebola
It is a disease caused by the virus of homonymous name (Ebola). It is considered one of the most contagious viral and infectious diseases in the world. Its spread occurs both in animal species and in humans.
Its most important symptom is the hemorrhagic fever it generates. This condition leads to muscle aches, physical exhaustion, headache intense. abdominal pain, high fevers and the appearance of skin eruptions (Meganotas, 2017).
Its transmission is given by having direct contact with any type of fluid derived from an individual carrying the virus. These fluids include discharge, sweating, vomiting, or urine.
Unlike other diseases, its contagion can not be prevented by means of vaccination and the preventive alternatives available today are purely experimental.
2 - Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is known as the"stomach flu." It consists of severe inflammation of the digestive system , including stomach and intestines. You may be given the alternate name of rotavirus or Norwalk virus.
Its spread occurs when an individual or group of individuals consume the same food or drink contaminated by the microorganisms that cause the virus.
The first symptoms of the disease appear almost immediately and are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Gastroenteritis caused by the transmission of a virus is common in people of all ages. Also, it can be divided into several types including rotavirus, norovirus, enteric adenovirus and astrovirus.
This disease can be treated by preventing dehydration by increasing the consumption of beverages rich in salts and minerals.
3 - Dengue
Dengue disease is named after the virus that causes it (dengue). It is one of the most common viral diseases in the world, infecting more than 100 million people annually.
Like yellow fever, it is transmitted through the bite of the Aedes Aegypti fly. It feeds on the blood of a person infected and then passes the virus to a healthy person through his sting.
The Aedes Aegypti fly reproduces in places where there is stagnant water, depositing its eggs in the walls or edges of these wells of water. The virus can also be transmitted by consuming water contaminated with the eggs of the fly.
Among the most common symptoms of dengue are lymph node growth, severe muscle pain, fever, joint pain and the occasional appearance of skin rashes.
Like other viral diseases, dengue can be prevented by administering a single-dose vaccine in patients between 0 and 12 months of age.
4 - Yellow Fever
This disease gets its name from the virus that causes it (the yellow fever virus). It is more common to find patients infected with this virus in continents such as Africa, South America and Central America (including the Caribbean islands).
Its spread occurs through the bite of a mosquito known as Aedes Aegypti, Aedes Sabethes or Aedes Haemagogus, which feeds on the blood of the person infected with the virus and then transmits it to other healthy people through its sting ( Liboreiro, 2015).
Symptoms such as nose and mouth bleeding, yellow pigmentation of the skin, vomiting of dark color, cardiac arrhythmia, dehydration and high fever may appear in people with this type of virus.
It is a disease that can be prevented by vaccination. Such vaccination must take place between the ages of 9 and 60 years and must be applied again every 10 years.
5 - Influenza
Influenza is one of the most common viral diseases in humans. This occurs when the RNA virus lodges and reproduces in the cells of the body.
It usually affects the respiratory tract, and is often mistaken for a cold during the first stage of development.
The most common symptoms of this disease are headache, fever, malaise, body weakness, dry cough, vomiting, diarrhea and sore throat.
It is important to note that the RNA virus is transmitted by air, through small particles of fluid that come off when coughing, talking or sneezing.
This disease can be prevented by the application of influenza vaccines. These vaccines usually protect patients from different types of flu, including swine (H1N1).
It is recommended to vaccinate once to adults over 65 during the fall season.
6 - Varicella
Chickenpox is an infectious disease that occurs when the body's cells acquire a virus known as varicella zoster.
It is a disease commonly acquired by individuals under 15 years of age. However, it can also be transmitted to children over 15 and to adults. This is because it is a virus that is easily transmitted from one person to another.
People with varicella virus are easily detected because they have skin rashes.
These eruptions generate a sensation of piquiña, and gradually transform into reddish-filled blisters filled with liquid. Each blister eventually becomes a scab that can leave definite marks on the skin.
The places where rashes most commonly appear are the back, face, and chest. However, the virus tends to spread throughout the body, and blisters can be found on the rest of the body.
Some symptoms of chickenpox include headache, physical exhaustion, loss of appetite and fever.
This type of disease is almost never serious and tends to last less than 10 days. It is common to treat it with ointments, lotions and skin creams. Some doctors recommend taking oatmeal baths and using products that decrease hives.
More severe cases of chickenpox can occur in pregnant women, infants, adolescents, adults, and individuals with immune systems weakened by other diseases. In these cases it is recommended to take antiviral medication.
Once the varicella virus is acquired, it stays in the body, even after it has healed. Some of its sequelae include the possible occurrence of another condition known as shingles.
7 - HIV / AIDS
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV attacks the immune system, making people susceptible to life-threatening infections.
AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the period of HIV infection, where there are low levels of defenses and the onset of rare infections called opportunistic infections, which arise when the immune defenses of the HIV-infected person are few.
Normally, a healthy organism could fight against them, but an infected organism is unable to defend itself.
This virus is transmitted through unprotected sex, by sharing syringes or any object that may have been in contact with infected blood.
It can also be spread by a mother to her baby, either during the lactation period or at the time of delivery.
It is prevented by having sex with protection, always using sterile material for perforations or tattoos and avoiding sharing of syringes if injected drugs are used (Infosida, 2017).
Today, thanks to antiretroviral treatment, an infected mother can have pregnancy and childbirth without the risk of the baby being infected.
8 - Viral Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by any of the five hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D and E) that can be transmitted in different ways.
Hepatitis A and E are transmitted by contaminated water and food, hepatitis B by blood and other unsafe body fluids, and hepatitis C by infected blood.
Hepatitis D virus infections only occur in people with hepatitis B. All these viruses cause acute hepatitis, which causes fatigue, fever, jaundice, and decreased appetite. With proper treatment, a large percentage of people recover completely.
In addition, hepatitis B and C virus infections can become chronic and cause liver cancer or cirrhosis.
Measures to prevent hepatitis are not enough, A and E can be avoided by consuming safe water and food. The A, B and E with vaccines. The C, is of blood transmission so you have to take care that the material of injections and transfusions is sterile and safe.
9 - Human papilloma (HPV)
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a group of more than 200 types of virus related to each other. These viruses cause warts on different parts of the body and about 40 of them affect the genital area.
They spread through sexual contact with an infected person. Some of these viruses can lead to cancer.
There are two types of sexually transmitted HPV. Low-risk HPV that causes genital warts and high-risk warts can cause several types of cancer, such as the cervix, anus, vagina, or penis.
These infections are very common and any sexually active person can get it, especially if you have many sexual partners.
Many people outgrow HPV infections in two or three years without developing a cancer, other infections can persist for many years and others can cause cell changes that, if left untreated, can become cancerous.
Thanks to cytology, women can opportunely detect changes in the cervix that could become cancerous. The use of condoms and vaccines can prevent the risk of contracting and transmitting HPV.
10 - M infectious mononucleosis
It is a viral disease known as kiss disease. It is caused by the virus Epstein-Barr (EBV), however, can also be caused by the cytomegalovirus that is transmitted orally and causes inflammation of the lymph nodes with fever, general weakness, pharyngitis and headaches.
It attacks mainly adolescents and young people. It is almost always a benign process in which the response of the body's defenses is basic.
It is spread by contact with kitchen utensils, coughs, sneezes, or kisses of an infected person, or by a blood transfusion.
There is no concrete and effective treatment against this disease, therefore only medicines that relieve the discomforts it causes are used.
- Infosida . (July 7, 2017). Retrieved from"What is HIV?: infosida.es
- Liboreiro, D. (June 1, 2015). SOS Nurse . Of Viral Diseases (Definition, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment): sosenfermero.com
- Mandal, A. (June 18, 2013). News Medical Life Science . Retrieved from"Human Diseases Caused by Viruses": news-medical.net
- Medline Plus . (May 31, 2017). Obtained from Viral Infections: medlineplus.gov
- Meganotas . (2017). Obtained from 23 of the most common human diseases caused by viruses: meganotas.com.