Retrovirus pandemics reportings- often lacking details.
The 5 last major pandemics-swine or Spanish flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Sars and currently the Corona, are all caused by retroviruses. Yet the reports from our politicians, news reporters, even the medical profession often fail to include the term or how these retroviruses produce their pandemics.
From a Wikipedia search we read that retroviruses are RNA viruses that have the ability to insert a copy of their own RNA genome into the DNA genome of a host cell that they invade . To do this amazing genetic inversion process, retroviruses use their own reverse transcriptase enzyme to produce a DNA copy of their own RNA genome . This new retroviral DNA- called a provirus– is then incorporated into the host cell DNA genome with an integrate enzyme. The host cell then treats the viral DNA as part of its own genome ! -first transcribing it into RNA and then translating the viral genes along with the cells own genes-to a peptide: following the Francis Crick model which every student learned in their high school biology class.:namely: DNA-to RNA-to one peptide.
Epidemiologists should be reminding the public that before a RNA virus can do this conversion it must first gain entrance into the human cell cytoplasm- with the target host cell being theT4 thymus (helper ) cell. A similar process of integration occurs in bacteria except that here the -provirus is called a bacteriophage.Look up: Wikipedia- retroviruses.
Molecular biologists quickly realized that retroviruses could be useful tools in adding new genes to the human DNA genome althoughthey do run the risk of potentially creating new retrovirus pathogens. Dr. Leonard Horowitz In his textbook Emerging Viruses AIDS & Ebola. Nature, Accident or Intentional ?, details some of these possibilities and possible dangers.
Since this process is permanent it might also be wise for reporters to stress not to use blood and other body fluids from such individuals for transfusions and other exchanges.