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Isosurface of a human rhinovirus, showing protein spikes
Scientific classification
Groups included
  • Rhinovirus A
  • Rhinovirus B
  • Rhinovirus C
Cladistically included but traditionally excluded taxa

Rhinovirus is the most common virus in humans, and the main cause of the common cold. It is called 'rhinovirus' because it infects the nose.[1] The symptoms are very well known, and affect the whole of the upper respiratory tract, that is, the nose down to the throat. Children may get six to twelve colds a year.[2]

The temperature most suitable for its survival is between 33 ℃ to 35 ℃. This may explain why it is found in the nose, because the nasal cavity is be open to the outside air.[3]

There are 99 types of rhinovirus, according to their surface proteins. The rhinovirus particles are only 30nm in diameter. This is much smaller than other viruses: many are ten times larger.

References[change | change source]

  1. "rhino-" from the Greek for "nose"
  2. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "rhinovirus". Encyclopedia Britannica, Invalid Date, https://www.britannica.com/science/rhinovirus. Accessed 25 December 2021.
  3. Ellen F. Foxmana et al 2014. Temperature-dependent innate defense against the common cold virus limits viral replication at warm temperature in mouse airway cells. PNAS ID 112 (3): 827–832. [1]