Articles on Viral infections

Displaying all articles

The thing all five viruses have in common is they can cause mild to very severe liver damage. wk1003mike/Shutterstock

Explainer: the A, B, C, D and E of hepatitis

Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are very different viruses. Hepatitis A is genetically closer to the common cold than it is to hepatitis B. Hepatitis C is closer to the virus that causes dengue fever.
A virus is essentially an information system (encoded in DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protective coat. Tom Thai/Flickr

Disease evolution: our long history of fighting viruses

Humans have a deep history of viral infections, the evidence for which dates back to ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies.
Viral mutation, or ‘genetic drift’, could impact the viability of some drugs being developed to combat Ebola. NIAID/Flickr

Could Ebola mutate faster than we can develop treatments?

Scientists around the world are trying to develop effective treatments for Ebola infection. But a process of viral mutation, known as "genetic drift", could potentially compromise their efforts.
Only a small proportion of people who eat these berries will become infected. Chiot's Run/Flickr

Scary berries: how food gets contaminated and what to do

Food distributor Patties Foods has recalled two brands of frozen mixed berries — Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet — due to reports of three people in Victoria, four in Queensland and two in New South Wales…
Symptoms can occur as soon as 30 minutes after exposure to the culprit organism or toxin. Anton Brand/Shutterstock

Explainer: what is gastroenteritis and why can’t I get rid of it?

We’ve all experienced the abdominal cramps and the urge to get to a toilet – quickly! When the stomach and intestinal tract become inflamed, our bodies respond with the sudden onset of diarrhoea, associated…
As long-frozen parts of Earth thaw, it’s inevitable that old viruses will be unearthed. What risks do they have to humans? Gerolf Nikolay/Flickr

Ancient viruses sound scary, but there’s no need to panic

You may have seen recently that scientists recovered and “revived” a giant virus from Siberian permafrost (frozen soil) that dates back 30,000 years. The researchers raised concerns that drilling in the…
A primary carrier of the Chikungunya virus, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) could easily hop to mainland Australia from Torres Strait islands. Camponotus Vagus

Explainer: the chikungunya virus and its risk to Australia

Chikungunya is a virus transmitted to people by mosquitoes; it usually causes a non-fatal but debilitating illness. Despite thousands of people being infected each year in Africa, Asia and Melanesia, chikungunya…

Top contributors

More