HealthHow are viruses different from bacteria apex?

How are viruses different from bacteria apex?

We’re surrounded by an invisible world. A world that’s teeming with life. Microscopic organisms surround us, many of which are essential for our day-to-day functioning and health, while some others are harmful. How are viruses different from bacteria apex? That’s understandable.

But the truth is that bacteria and viruses are very different. Different types of each of these help or harm us in different ways. Exactly how are viruses different from bacteria? And how can we protect ourselves from their harmful forms?

What is a virus?

How are viruses different from bacteria apex? is a frequently asked question that we answered in this article. Viruses are infectious microbes. They only survive when they attach themselves to a host cell. Viruses can infect all lifeforms; they have to reproduce inside the living cells of an organism – whether that’s a plant, animal, fungi, bacterium, or human – to survive. Otherwise, viruses won’t last long by themselves.

What are bacteria?

Bacteria are single-celled organisms and, unlike viruses, can reproduce by themselves They provide us with nutrients, help digest food, fight disease-causing microbes, and even fight cancer cells. But while most species of bacteria are harmless, some varieties can be detrimental to our health.

Size

Viruses and bacteria are so small that we can’t see them. But how small are they?

Human cells are approximately 10,000 – 100,000 nanometers in size. Bacteria are about 1000 nanometers while viruses are only 100 nanometers.

Diseases

A picture of a woman sneezing on her sofa Viruses and some forms of bacteria can create different illnesses.

Diseases that viruses can cause include:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • COVID-19
  • Measles
  • Shingles
  • Chickenpox
  • Ebola

While bacteria can cause:

  • Wound infections
  • Ear infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Strep throat
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis

How long do they live outside the body?

The good news is that viruses can’t survive long outside of the body. They can last for periods ranging from a few hours to a few days on surfaces or in the air – but they need to find a host, otherwise they won’t survive. Bacteria, on the other hand, can survive by themselves – but they need the right environmental conditions to do so, or they’ll die. Different forms of bacteria can survive on different surfaces from a few hours to a few months.

How do they enter your body?

Harmful bacteria and viruses can enter your body through your eyes, mouth, nose, wounds, bites, and other openings. They get into these openings through your direct contact with them in the form of infected body fluids such as saliva, or through indirect contact on contaminated surfaces. They can also enter your body through animal and insect bites, inhalation of contaminated air, as well as through consumption of contaminated food and water.

How do you prevent contact with

harmful bacteria and viruses?

We come into contact with these harmful microbes all the time – without even knowing it. But don’t worry, you can take simple steps to protect yourself:

The basics: Washing hands with soap, social distancing, wearing a facemask

A woman washing her hands with soap

Did you know that germs enter our body through openings like our eyes, nose, and mouth? We often touch these areas with our hands, transferring any bacteria or viruses we have picked up from the air or by touching surfaces. By washing our hands with soap, we protect ourselves from bacteria and viruses that we’ve made contact with. The soap ruptures the membranes of these microbes – killing them. 

Because these pathogens enter into our bodies through some form of direct or indirect contact, one simple way of protecting yourself is to maintain social distance – something we’re all now quite familiar with! Bacteria and viruses can also enter the air through contaminated air or water droplets. Just a few words can sprinkle hundreds of droplets in the air. Wearing a facemask stops these unwelcome droplets from getting in.

Careful food preparation

A man cooking ingredients in the kitchen

Not preparing food safely can transfer pathogens – potentially some nasty diseases like food poisoning. To protect yourself, it is important to prepare the diet carefully.

Make sure you:

  • Wash your hands before and after touching raw meat.
  • Rinse all foods including vegetables, fruit, and meat under running water before cooking or eating.
  • Do not use the same cutting board and cooking utensils for both raw and cooked meat. Wash these items before switching between raw and cooked meat.
  • Cook meat thoroughly.
  • Defrost food in either the microwave or the fridge.

Enhancing your immunity

Your immune system can fight off harmful bacteria and viruses – if it’s strong enough.

You can protect yourself by boosting your immune system by:

  • Having a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Getting plenty of sleep.
  • Limiting how much alcohol you drink and smoking.
  • In short: take care of yourself and you will give your body the best protection.

Clean and disinfect surfaces

A person cleaning the surface of a kitchen table

Because many of these bacteria and viruses can survive on surfaces for hours, days, or months, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in your environment is the best form of protection. Buy cleaning and disinfecting products and make it a regular habit to clean your home. For best results, use a surface cleaning product before applying the disinfectant.

Why? Cleaning products don’t kill bacteria and viruses alone. But they can get rid of them from surfaces. And for disinfectants to be the most effective, you need to apply them to a clean surface. Disinfectants do kill germs and may need to be left on a surface for a few minutes to complete the task.

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