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Thread: how long can virus/bacteriophages exist before they "di

  1. #1 how long can virus/bacteriophages exist before they "di 
    Forum Freshman nerd_girl's Avatar
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    I understand they are not living creatures, I just wonder, without a host, let's say they're airborn, how long can they stay without disintegrating?


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Depends on the virus, some are very stable and can survive dessication and UV for a decent amount of time, others (especially membrane enveloped ones) can only last an hour or two.

    UV radiation tends to be the major barrier to long term virus survival in the air. However, many can last quite a long time in soil and water.


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    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    I had a test once.. what is the smallest living thing.
    It was a match between bacteria and virus.. I paid attention to the smallest, but accidently ignored the "living" part. =P
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    I had a test once.. what is the smallest living thing.
    It was a match between bacteria and virus.. I paid attention to the smallest, but accidently ignored the "living" part. =P
    okay then


    Some common viruses only live for around 12 minutes or so outside the body.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Senior Booms's Avatar
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    easy. the lifespan outside a host can be loosely based on it's kill rate

    the common cold virus as a rule doesn't kill. roughly 1 in a million die from cc and 99% of those die from indirect causes. the virus doesn't kill em. they are already weakened through age or HIV or something and the cold is just the last push. the common cold lasts from 12 hours outside a host


    in contast the Malaria virus kills 900 in 1000 victims and can survive for 1-3 years outside a host



    the explanation is equally simple. if you are a virus and can survive for 3 years your not going to try and keep your host alive are you. as soon as you've forced it to copy you you can kill it and move on if you die after 12 hours and might not find a host in that time. you can't afford to kill your host
    It's not how many questions you ask, but the answers you get - Booms

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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium spp., a group of parasitic protozoan, not viruses.

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