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Sample Critical Thinking Paper on Dna Viruses

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Sample Critical Thinking Paper on Dna Viruses

DNA Viruses

These are viruses containing DNA as their genetic material and these viruses replicate using DNA polymerase, which is DNA dependent. The nucleic acid in these cells is always double stranded, but may also be single stranded, and when these single stranded DNA is affected, they are expanded to double stranded. Those DNA viruses that are single stranded are parvo viruses and all the rest are double stranded. Most of the viruses originate from humans while others are zoonoses, which are solely transmitted by vectors.

How DNA Viruses Are Dangerous

These virus infections cause asymptomatic to mild to life threatening conditions of the affected victims. They are dangerous because their effects range from mild effects to deadly illnesses. The most common manifestations that these DNA virus causes include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory system complications, fever and muscle aches. These manifestations are dangerous because they worsen the patient’s health conditions and they are likely to infect other healthy persons.

These viruses are also very dangerous because they have rapid cause and lytic cycle and can also establish long-term persistence that can last for many years or even a lifetime, therefore not responding to treatment and eventually causing death of the patient. These persistent infections may be chronic or latent, whereby in chronic, the virus can be mild or at times absent and in latent infections, the virus may enter a dormant phase, which may not be detectable and may reactivate later and cause recurrent infections to the patients.

Some persistent viruses are oncogenic while others are teratogenic, which are very dangerous because they can result to permanent defects when they cross the placenta and resort to developmental disturbances.

How They Can Spread

Many of the DNA viruses are transmitted through contamination of a healthy person with infected patient’s body fluids such as saliva, blood and other secretions from the reproductive areas during sexual engagement. Body contact with an infected person can also be a channel for viruses to infect a healthy person, such as herpes and small pox.

The Diseases They Can Cause

DNA viruses cause diseases such as smallpox, which was the first disease to be countered with by vaccination and infected a healthy person through inhalation of the virus or skin contact with an infected person. This disease causes rash, malaise, fever and prostration. Major variola is more dangerous and causes shock, toxemia, intravascular coagulation and its highly virulent than variola minor.

Molluscum contagiosum is a DNA virus that mostly affects children in endemic areas, and it is transmitted through fomites and direct body contact with an infected person. In western countries, it is commonly transmitted through sexual acts, and it forms lesions on thighs and genital areas.

Other pox viruses that mammals suffer from include cowpox, elephant pox, rabbit pox, monkey pox and mouse pox. Among these, monkey pox and cowpox affect human beings, whereby monkey pox causes swollen lymph nodes, skin pocks and fever whereas cowpox affect hands and other cutaneous sites.

Other viruses include herpes, which largely affects the immune system and other life threatening conditions such as cancerous conditions and it is more common in HIV/AIDS patients. It is usually of type I and type II, whereby type one is transmitted through body contact, usually the face and type II is sexually transmitted.

Epidemiology, adenovirus, papilloma and polyoma as well as hepatitis B are other viral infections that are transmitted through contact with body secretions containing the virus.

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