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Human Virus Question

Jay and Nancy Mone jaymone at paonline.com
Sat May 15 15:58:52 EST 1999

It's not every day I get to teach a rocket scientist!

Many viruses have been shown to cause cancer in humans.  These include 
hepatitis B and C viruses, human t cell leukemia virus, and human 
papilloma virus, to name the most important.

(1)  Could the cancer be related to a virus which caused the cough
assuming the cough was due to an virus.

I am not, however, familiar with any respiratory virus which is linked to 
cancer in humans.  My feeling is that the connection between a cough and 
the Ca is not there.

(2)  Assuming the answer to 1) is yes; How long would it take take for
a virus to cause cancer.

Most viruses in human take several years to decades to cause cancer.  
This is most likely due to cancer being what is known as a multi-hit 
phenomenon.  This means that several things need to happen to the cell 
before it becomes malignant.  With the viruses I mentioned above, it 
appears that the viral infection doesn't cause cancer directly, but 
rather, the infection sets in motuin a series of events which leads the 
cell down the path to transformation.  This is why the disease develops 
so slowly;  it takes years for all of the events to occur.

3) If one would now from the begiinning that one has a virus of
such a kind, how could one prevent the cancer (or how to kill
the virus).

Unfortunately, there are no cures for any viral infections.  The only 
hope is to either prevent infection, or treat the symptoms until the 
infection runs it's course.

One more last question
4) If one catches a 'normal' virus which causes a cough how much
time needs the immune system to fight the virus ?

In a normal individual, immune reactivity is seen within 48 hrs..  
Indeed, activation of the immune response plays a large role in the 
symptoms one gets with viral infections.  Usually, a cold virus comes and 
goes in as little as 3-4 days.  this is because that is all the time 
needed for a healthy immune system to recognize and fight the infection.

Good luck.

Jay Mone'

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