Can a Virus Ever Be “Good” ?

If you’re like me, you may have asked yourself, “Why do viruses even exist in nature?”

Turns out that, in the guts of healthy mammals, there’s such a variety of viruses—and large quantities of them—that scientists have felt they must serve important functions.  And through their work with lab mice, researchers so far have discovered specific benefits that certain viruses apparently offer.   

One benefit is that by infecting mammals, one virus (which is not damaging) can trigger the person’s immune system so that a different, dangerous virus will have less impact.

Another virus type can activate “killer cells”—which sound bad, but are good.  Why are they called “killer cells”?  Because they kill tumor cells in mammals, and they kill our cells which are infected with pathogenic viruses.   

We have a lot of beneficial bacteria, or “flora,” in our guts.  Well, scientists have some evidence to think that viruses might be controlling those, and keeping them from getting out of control.  The research continues. 

The suffering that COVID 19 is currently causing is frightening.  But it’s wise to keep a balanced view of viruses in perspective.

For more details, read the complete article here: