Viruses are unique because they lack the mechanisms necessary for metabolic function, and cannot replicate independently. They must insert a viral genome into the cells of a vulnerable host.
Certain viruses can infiltrate different types of host cells and tissues. For example, Hepatitis viruses replicate in the liver cells, and HIV infects cells of the immune system. Enteroviruses infect the cells of the GI tract and the respiratory tract.
Viruses and What Organ They Like
Viruses and the Organs They Attack
Enteroviruses are very contagious, especially when spread by respiratory droplets. They are directly or indirectly transmitted from person to person.
The persitent cough associated with most Enteroviruses can be virus shedding from the lungs, as this can occur for more than 2 months.
The most typical route of transmission is by fecal-oral route (which only takes microscopic amouts) so hand washing after using the bathroom, or changing a diaper, is important.
After Enteroviruses are inhaled or ingested, they can enter the blood stream and spread to other organs such as the Muscles, Heart, Brain, and Central Nervous System.
Some strains of enterovirus can even effect the pancreas and kidney.
If not swallowed by contaminated food or water, the virus can still spread from the lungs to the stomach when patients accidentally swallow their sputum.
Enteroviruses know how to thrive in the acidic environment of the stomach once they arrive there.
Some patients can inhale one EV strain, and ingest another, or contract two or more strains at the same time, through different routes of transmission.
Enterovirus infections can be acute orchronic and they can be mild or severe. They can also be cyclic, with symptoms coming and going, or improving and worsening.
Symptoms will be largely dictated by the route of transmission. Patients who inhaled the virus, may have persistent sinus or lung problems, and patients who ingested the Enteroviruses, may suffer from upper and/or lower GI problems.
When suffering from a respiratory infection, it is advisable to avoid "high risk foods" such as shell fish and/or sushi.