Why the world needs viruses to function

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Why the world needs viruses to function

Postby ritcha » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:31 am

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Viruses seem to exist solely to wreak havoc on society and bring suffering to humanity. They have cost untold lives over the millennia, often knocking out significant chunks of the global population – from the 1918 influenza epidemic which killed 50 to 100 million people to the estimated 200 million who died from smallpox in the 20th Century alone. The current Covid-19 pandemic is just one in a series of ongoing and never-ending deadly viral assaults.

If given the choice to magically wave a wand and cause all viruses to disappear, most people would probably jump at that opportunity, especially now. Yet this would be a deadly mistake – deadlier, in fact, than any virus could ever be.

“If all viruses suddenly disappeared, the world would be a wonderful place for about a day and a half, and then we’d all die – that’s the bottom line,” says Tony Goldberg, an epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “All the essential things they do in the world far outweigh the bad things.”

The vast majority of viruses are not pathogenic to humans, and many play integral roles in propping up ecosystems. slotxo Others maintain the health of individual organisms – everything from fungi and plants to insects and humans. “We live in a balance, in a perfect equilibrium”, and viruses are a part of that, says Susana Lopez Charretón, a virologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “I think we’d be done without viruses.”
ritcha
 
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