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Name: Kellie
Status: Educator
Grade:  Other
Location: MO
Country: United States
Date: November 2006

How long does it take from the time a virus attaches itself to a cell until it either bursts the cell or buds? I know this will vary by virus, but do you have a range?

In the case of polio virus, it takes around 12 hours. Using a search engine, look up "virus life cycle hours".

Ron Baker, Ph.D.

This is a difficult question for each virus has a little different time frame of infection. Without using the terminology, some viral attacks destroy the host cell in hours or a few days after using the cell's machinery to produce numerous copies of the virus. Other viral attacks have the viral genetic material combine and become part of the cell's DNA. HIV, for example, can take years to become functional in destroying cells.

Steve Sample

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