Viruses are micro-organisms that multiply inside living cells and cause illness.

A virus behaves like a parasite as it needs a host to survive and feed off. However, a virus can go directly into another cell and use its reproductive system as its own.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses. There are some vaccines that will help prevent the spread of the viruses.

Viruses are spread in the same way as bacteria. Some viruses can survive on counter tops and food contact surfaces for a long period of time.

Examples of viruses are:

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Did You Know?
Hepatitis E is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) that usually results in an acute infection. It does not lead to a chronic infection. While rare in the United States, hepatitis E is common in many parts of the world.

Transmission: Ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts; outbreaks are usually associated with contaminated water supply in countries with poor sanitation.

Vaccination: There is currently no FDA-approved vaccine for hepatitis E.

Uncomplicated influenza gets better with or without treatment, but may cause substantial discomfort and limitation of activity before getting better. Complications of influenza can include bacterial infections, viral pneumonia, and cardiac and other organ system abnormalities. More...