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Human Rhinovirus
Molecular surface of a human rhinovirus, showing protein spikes
Virus classification
Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
  • Rhinovirus A
  • Rhinovirus B
  • Rhinovirus C

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.

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.[2]

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. 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]