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Personification of deadly viruses seems universal and timeless

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10.04.2020

These days, I often encounter cartoonish illustrations of the novel coronavirus that's causing COVID-19.

At pharmacies around Japan, the virus is commonly depicted as a scarlet ring with malevolent eyes. In manga, it's a man in dark glasses with a sinister grin.

But what does the real virus look like and what are its characteristics?

I visited Makoto Ujike, 44, an associate professor at Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University (NVLU), to find out.

"In our profession, schematic diagrams are used to represent viruses," Ujike said. He went on to make a quick sketch, explaining, "This is roughly what the coronavirus looks........

© The Asahi Shimbun