Viral Infections

General or Other | General Practice | Viral Infections (Disease)


The virus is a submicroscopic agent which causes an infection in the body. This type has genetic material DNA - RNA, which we reproduce. For a virus to survive must invade and attach to a living cell (host cell), which will multiply, giving rise to other viruses. By attaching to the host cell, virus can destroy or alter cell functions, such are issued new types of viruses and infected other cells. Basically, this is the mechanism by which viruses cause disease. Usually, the virus infects a single cell type, for example, cold viruses infect only cells that cause upper respiratory tract.

Causes and Risk factors

Viruses can be transmitted through: contact with an infected person, ingestion, inhalation or unprotected sex. Poor hygiene and inadequate eating habits may increase the risk of contracting a viral infection. External barriers (skin and mucous membranes) is the first line of immune defense. It is activated when the virus enters the body through the action of white blood cells (lymphocytes and monocytes) that begin to attack and destroy the virus. This protection is specific or innate the natural immunity . Viruses can affect any body part or system in the body and can cause infections such as colds, flu, gastroenteritis, chicken pox or herpes. The most common type of viral infection involving the respiratory tract. Cold is a viral infection that occurs frequently and is manifested by sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and cough. Although colds are minor infections of the throat and nose, can last from two days to two weeks.

The disease is contagious and is spread by infectious fluids spread by sneezing or coughing. Influenza is a respiratory infection caused by viruses, which is manifested by chills, fever, sore throat and muscle discomfort. In both cases, the virus is easily spread in densely populated areas, crowded. Viruses that affect the stomach can be contacted from contaminated food or water and can cause viral gastroenteritis. Inadequate washing of hands after handling inappropriate chair or a diaper belonging to a sick person can spread disease from person to person.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Antibiotics do not kill viruses and the use of them for viral infections just leads to antibiotic resistance. There are only a few antiviral medications available to treat very specific viruses, and they are not always effective.

However, there are vaccines available to help prevent many infections. If you have a minor illness and your health care provider tells you that it is a viral infection, the best thing to do is to treat the symptoms if you are able to and just let it run its course. ...

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