Country: United States
Date: October 2008
How do you stop a virus from working?
You Don't. There are very few drugs that have anti-viral activity. The human
body stops them by producing antibodies that inactivate them.
Ron Baker, Ph.D
There are two main parts of a virus: a protein coat and nucleic material
(DNA or RNA). The protein coat protects the virus' DNA or RNA. To stop a
virus from working, you can attack either of these. If the DNA or RNA is
damaged enough, the virus can't replicate. If the coat is damaged, then the
DNA and RNA can be broken down by things that are already in the
environment. There are lots of ways to damage the virus, including physical
(for example, shear) and chemical (for example, bleach) means.
If you're talking about a virus that's already inside your body, then it
gets harder. You can't drink bleach, and you can't blend your insides. Now
you have to use tricky biochemical methods, which are much more complicated.
Also, there are inactive virus particles that don't work (don't replicate),
but are still intact enough for your body to recognize them as a virus.
Since I don't know what level of student you are, I'll stop here. Let me
know if you want more technical information.
Hope this helps,
If you can prevent a virus from spreading from one host to another you can
prevent it from functioning. Viruses must live inside of living cell. To
get copied and passed on it must use the host cell.
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Update: June 2012