What is a virus, and how can you protect yourself from them?

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During the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve all been forced to think about viruses differently. 

But what do we actually know about them, and how can we best protect our families and ourselves from them? 

Our hope is that by answering these questions you feel more confident to live your life, knowing you’re prepared to appropriately clean and protect your families from the daily viruses we all encounter. 


What is a virus? 

A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. These agents can infect many types of life forms, including humans, animals and plants. 

How does a virus live? 

Although viruses are living organisms, they cannot survive/replicate without a host. This is because viruses do not contain a ribosome (a tool that helps with protein manufacturing). So, viruses live by contacting a host cell, inserting genetic marketing into the host and taking over the host’s functions. When this happens, the virus continues to reproduce more viral protein and genetic material instead of normal healthy cellular products. 

How does viral transmission occur? 

Viruses exist only to reproduce by infecting new cells and new hosts. A few ways viruses spread include: 

  • Touch
  • Sexual Contact 
  • Saliva, Coughing or Sneezing 
  • Food & Water 
  • Insects

Additionally, depending on the type of virus, it can live on non-living objects for a period of time. We recently wrote about the Coronavirus and addressed this exact topic. You can read more here.

What kills viruses? 

The best way to kill viruses is to clean and disinfect. 

Cleaning represents the direct removal of germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. While this doesn’t directly kill the virus, it can drastically decrease the presence of viruses, limiting their ability to reproduce. 

Disinfecting represents using chemicals to kill the remaining germs on surfaces. While this alone doesn’t clean your surfaces, it does help ensure any further spread of infection. Our recommendation is to use EPA approved disinfectants like these


While we can’t possibly cover all of the elements of viruses in one blog post, we hope that this information helps you feel more confident as we all navigate this new normal. 

And while the prevalence of Coronavirus will change at some point, the importance of protecting yourself from all viruses will remain. 

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

-Green Clean Team