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Astroviridae

The Astrovirus is a non-enveloped icosahedral capsid containing a non-segmented single strand, positive sense RNA genome. The Astrovirus is a star shaped virus (hence the name 'Astro'), approximately 20-30 nanometers across.


The Astrovirus, commonly infecting both humans and birds, is responsible for causing something called gastroenteritis in both children and adults. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, malaise and abdominal pain. Symptoms will generally dissipate on their own within a period of 3 to 4 days. There is no need for treatment or hospitalization, as the virus will be generally cleaned out by the body itself, although in some rare cases, may actually lead to dehydration.

The Astrovirus, classified into two genera (the mamastrovirus [infecting mammals] and the avastrovirus [infecting birds]) is further broken down into subtypes named according to the species it is infecting.

Seen below is a microscopic image of the astrovirus. Easily identifiable are the star like points of its skeleton.





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