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How to Control Viral Infections

Updated on December 27, 2014

The onset of winter brings in its wake cough, cold, fever and flu; the results of viral infections. Viruses are microscopic hijackers. They invade healthy cells and use them to multiply into more viruses. The constant production of new viruses kills the healthy cells making you sick. Some infections can spread indirectly by person to person, and some infection direct by germs, bacteria, fungi etc.

Viral infections are difficult to treat, as medicines that travel through the bloodstream, do not affect them. Antiviral medicines are few and not always effective. The best way to escape viral infections is preventing transmission of viruses.

Viral Infections
Viral Infections

How do germs spread?

Germs can spread through:

  1. Blood (e.g. Hepatitis B. HIV)
  2. Contact (Faecal-oral transmission – e.g. Gastroenteritis, typhoid)
  3. Droplets (e.g. Influenza)
  4. Airborne (e.g. Chicken pox, tuberculosis)
  5. Vector borne (e.g. Mosquito borne – malaria dengue, cikungunya; tick borne – scrub typhus)

How do viral infections like upper respiratory infections spread?

  • Upper Respiratory Infections are generally spread by droplets and are rarely airborne.

What precautions should be taken when someone has an upper respiratory infection?

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. When coughing or sneezing at that time Cover your mouth and nose with a cotton cloth. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  3. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Hand washing is the best way in prevention of majority of infectious diseases.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  5. Stay at home when you are infected. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  6. Practice other good health habits: get good sleep, be active, manage your stress, drink plenty of liquids, and eat nutritious diet.

How does one prevent getting vector borne diseases?

  1. Avoid eating or drinking unhealthy foods (e.g. Panipuri).
  2. Drink clean – bottled/boiled water.
  3. Wash hands frequently.


When should I wash my Hands?

  1. After returning home from outside
  2. After coughing, blowing nose or sneezing.
  3. Before handling food.
  4. After playing with animals.
  5. After using the toilet.
  6. After playing.
  7. Before and after meeting a sick person.
  8. After handling garbage.

How should I wash my hands?

Hands should be washed for at least 15 seconds or longer if visibly soiled. You can use the following steps for effective hand washing.

  1. Remove hand jewelers like rings.
  2. Wet hands thoroughly
  3. Use soap and lather well
  4. Scrub the palms, between fingers, under nails, back of the hand, thumb and wrists.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.
  6. Protect your hands as you leave the toilet.

Should one wear a mask when travelling, to prevent catching a cold?

  • Wearing a mask routinely is not shown to have any effect and may increase the likelihood of developing infections.
  • Masks can be worn when in contact with a person know to have a transmissible infection.


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      Konstanze 3 years ago

      Hi Lindsay and Amy I really hope you reply even tugohh it has been 2 years since you've posted on here I'm so glad to have found this site. My name is Nichole and I am almost 23 years old, I have suffered with NDPH since I was 16. I was a Sophomore in high school, it was near the end of 2006 when I got sick with bronchitis and the flu and coughed and coughed and noticed I had a really terrible headache with it. Once the sickness went away I noticed that the migraine, that pain in my head that had been so foreign to me prior to this, had not gone away, and still has not to this day I had to be home schooled and quit all of my sports I was a part of My friends went on with their lives and forgot about me while I had a constant 24/7 pain that I could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried or how much it killed me, physically and mentally. We began with Chiropractors, decompression machines, adjustments, etc. I traveled hours to probably 20 different Chiropractors that all said that they knew what I had and exactly how to treat it. I've tried natural supplements, over the counter medications, 6 Occipital nerve blocks in the back of my head, massage, diets of no wheat, no gluten, no sugar, vegan only, all with no progress. My family understands the pain and how I can be ok one minute but then pick up something slightly too heavy, walk a little too fast, sit down a little too hard and I will have to be in my room with blankets over my windows and absolutely no sound because the pain is so unbearable. It is so frustrating because I too feel like a burden, like ok you have a headache so what? Why can't you stay out late or get up early or work long shifts or run around and be active? But it is so much more than a headache It's become a way of life and although I think I handle it well I know that deep down I am depressed and deeply saddened by it because anytime I stop to think about it or talk to anyone about it I cry instantly. Lindsay, I too have tried the things you have with no help and at Cleveland Clinic where they did my nerve blocks they told me about the program where you stay there for an amount of time. My option they told me about when staying there was a few weeks, they would put me on all these medications and steroid medications, have physical therapy and counseling as well. They also said the FDA would soon be approving the Botox injections, I'm sorry those did not help you either NDPH has altered my life drastically, I can't work as much, I can't run around and just be free, I can't take a full load of classes at a time Basically I just want to thank you for having this site Amy, it is really more helpful than you know, just knowing that I'm not the only one to suffer from this and that I'm not the only one that has this pain to think about every single second of every day Bless you and bless all your readers, may you all find relief from the pain -Nichole

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      Namari 3 years ago

      What litiarbeng knowledge. Give me liberty or give me death.