Why is a virus hard to kill?

1 Answer
Mar 13, 2016

A thing that isn't alive in the first place cannot be killed.


If you recall the seven qualifications for a thing to be a living thing, you'll see that a virus isn't a living thing. Those qualifications are:

  • Homeostasis
  • Organization
  • Metabolism
  • Growth
  • Adaptation
  • Response to stimuli
  • Reproduction

Viruses don't maintain homeostasis, they don't consist of cells, they don't metabolize, and they cannot replicate without a host cell to do it for them.

We cannot kill a thing that was never alive, and this makes viruses pretty dangerous. If we cannot kill viruses, we can only treat the effects they have on organisms, which can get out of hand pretty quickly, for example, with HIV/AIDS patients. The virus can begin getting quite violent and the immune system of the patient cannot respond quickly enough to make the symptoms subside.