ScienceWhat are viruses? | Live Science

What are viruses? | Live Science


Viruses are microscopic infectious agents that contain genetic material, either DNA or RNA, and must invade a host in order to multiply.

Predominantly, viruses are known for causing disease, as they’ve triggered widespread outbreaks of illness and death throughout human history. Recent examples of virus-driven outbreaks include the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the 2009 swine flu pandemic and the COVID-19 pandemic, which was caused by a coronavirus first identified in late 2019. 



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