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Question about virus vs. bacteria ... again

jaymone jaymone at paonline.com
Wed Feb 4 04:55:07 EST 2004

1.  Bacteria are neither plants nor animals.  Rather, they belong to a class
of organisms called prokaryotes.  Look in any introductory biology text for
a description of both.

2.  Viruses are not living organisms.  They lack any of the metabolic
machinery needed for life.  Viruses, while natural, can only replicate by
using a cell's metabolic machinery.  Computer viruses are, in many ways,
similar to cellular viruses in the way they do things.

3.  There are many vaccines against both bacterial and viral diseases.  Most
vaccines work in similar ways.  The need for repeated fly vaccinations is
that the virus rapidly evolves, making older vaccines ineffective.  On the
other hand, while many effective therapies are available to cure bacterial
infections, there are currently no therapies to cure viral infections.

4.  Ebola, AIDS, SRS, and West Nile are all viral illnesses.

5.  The idea that recent diseases are all viral is not accurate.  This is an
impression given by the media to sell newspapers and commercials.  Bacterial
diseases such as Legionaire's disease, toxic shock, dysentery, meningitis,
etc., are all caused by bacteria.  No need for conspiracies, except for the
one that states that these bugs really are out there waiting to get us.

Jay Mone'


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