A virus containing RNA as its genetic material. The RNA may be single stranded or double stranded. Examples of RNA viruses include Reoviruses, Picornaviruses, Togaviruses, Orthomyxoviruses, Rhabdoviruses, etc.
The RNA viruses may be a double stranded (dsRNA) or single stranded (ssRNA) based on the type of their RNA, and they can be further grouped into negative sense or positive sense according to the sense of polarity of their RNA.
Most of them replicate in the cytoplasm. They don’t require as much polymerases of their host to replicate as DNA viruses do. Examples of human diseases caused by RNA viruses are SARS, influenza, hepatitis C, etc.
Compare: DNA virus, ssRNA-RT virus.