Caption: Rhinovirus - cause of the common cold (Picornaviridae family, RNA virus). In this scanning electron micrograph rhinoviruses are seen infecting the surface of a nasal epithelial cell (nasopharynx region). The nasopharynx (nasal part of the pharynx) lies behind the nose and above the level of the soft palate. The rhinovirus (also known as picornavirus) is a very tiny icosahedral shaped virus (30nm) that spreads easily in the air by droplets produced by coughing, sneezing and even talking. The virus may infect mucous membranes of the nose and also the lungs causing bronchitis. There are no treatments that can kill a rhinovirus. Most over the counter treatments involve relieving symptoms as the body fights the rhinovirus infection. There are over 100 types of rhinoviruses and they cause 30-35% of the common cold in humans. Rhinoviruses can live up to 3 hours on your skin or other objects. Rhinoviruses have two main modes of transmission: transmitted directly from person-to-person by respiratory droplets and transmitted indirectly via respiratory droplets that are deposited on the hands and then transported by fingers to the nose or eyes. Infection occurs rapidly, with the virus adhering to surface receptors within 15 minutes of entering the respiratory tract. The incubation period is generally 8-10 hours before symptoms begin to occur. The frequency of colds is high in childhood and decreases during adulthood most probably because of the possession of immunity.
Magnification*: x25,050
Type: SEM
Copyright 2007 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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