A coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the world, but what exactly is a virus? Is it alive?
CLOSE USA TODAY answers a question you may be wondering: Is coronavirus worse than the flu? USA TODAYYou already know a new virus has brought normal life to a halt in the United States. But you may not remember what a virus even is.They’re invisible and can make us sick — but how? And why is it so hard for scientists to stop a new virus?There are many different types of viruses, including ones that affect animals, plants and other organisms, so it’s often a challenge to nail down an answer to even simple questions.The answers below won’t explain how every virus behaves, but in a time where it’s easy to feel powerless and confused, they will help you understand why fighting the current pandemic is such a challenge.What does the coronavirus do to your body? Everything to know about the infection processWhat is a virus?A virus is a microscopic piece of genetic material surrounded by a coat made of proteins. It enters healthy cells and hijacks them, creating copies of itself.When viruses begin replicating inside a living organism, it can cause an infectious disease. In the case of the current coronavirus pandemic, the virus is SARS-CoV-2 and the disease is called COVID-19. Are viruses alive?It’s complicated.The National Human Genome Research Institute describes viruses as