There are many viral infections a person can contract and for many of them the basic form of prevention is immunization in form of vaccines. In some countries, immunization of the babies is necessary for certain viral infections, such as MMR vaccine for mumps, measles and rubella. There are also viral infections that are not considered to be very dangerous for most people and they are also very common. The most common viral infections are cold and flu and they are also called seasonal viral infections because they affect a large number of people during fall, winter and early spring.
Viruses that cause infections are generally immune to medications. For many viral infections there is simply no cure. Some viruses go away on their own, some remain dormant in the body and may or may not reactivate while others cause progressive and chronic diseases that eventually damage several systems in the body.
The medical science is constantly working on finding ways to deal with viruses and surely the cure for most of the viruses will be found one day. Until then, the best think a person can do to protect him or herself from viral infections is to learn about prevention.
Prevention of viral infections
As it is mentioned above, some viral infections can be fought through immunization in the childhood. Vaccines are available for measles, mumps and rubella, for some types of hepatitis, as well as for influenza virus.
The subject of immunization has become a controversial one because many people believe that vaccines for certain diseases actually do more harm than good and refuse to take the vaccine or to have their children vaccinated. Still, immunization remains the bets form of prevention for many viral infections.
Seasonal viral infections like common cold and flu can be prevented by practicing good personal hygiene, especially when it comes to washing hands and avoiding touching the mouth and the nose. It is also important to avoid direct contact with persons who are already ill. Getting plenty of rest, eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of fluids and vitamins is also essential.
Some viral infections are sexually transmitted, like HIV/AIDS and genital herpes. The prevention is primarily based on safe sex, always using a condom and avoiding having sex with multiple partners. When it comes to AIDS, it is also important to remember that this deadly disease can be spread through blood as well, for example through used needles.
Viruses that affect the gastrointestinal tract, known as stomach flu, can be prevented by eating only in trusted restaurants, avoiding uncooked foods, suspicious-looking meats and unpasteurized dairy, as well as drinking only filtered, bottled or boiled water.