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Are virus particles dead or alive?

Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences

Are virus particles dead or alive?
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Hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and UV light are ways we keep our surroundings clean of viruses like COVID-19 and the flu. But how do these "kill" viruses? What does it mean to "kill a virus"? In this exhibit, we'll talk about the basics of how viruses work and why viruses are considered sometimes "dead" and sometimes "alive".