Rhinoviruses, cause of the common cold (Picornaviridae family, RNA virus), coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Rhinoviruses are seen infecting nasal epithelial cells of the nose. Numerous small virus particles are seen near the surface of two nasal epithelial cells. Nasal epithelial cells have microvilli (seen projecting from surface) that are covered with mucus. Rhinoviruses can still infect the nasal epithelial cells even with this mucus coating (mucous membrane). The rhinovirus, or picornavirus, is a tiny icosahedral virus (30nm) that spreads easily in the air by droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. The virus may infect mucous membranes of the nose and also the lungs causing bronchitis. There are no treatments that can kill a rhinovirus. There are over 100 types of rhinoviruses and they cause 30-35% of the common cold in humans. Rhinoviruses can live up to 3 hours on your skin or other objects. Magnification: x15,105 when.
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