The wave line of the COVID-19 virus is definitely thinning, but it hasn’t gone completely. Even today, a tiny percentage of the Indian population is still being infected with the virus. While the season is changing, the virus is taking a remarkable pathway to become stronger. So, there’s a greater probability of the infections increasing in considerable numbers.
As you don’t know whether you’ll get infected or not, it’s best to prepare yourself with viral infection prevention strategies. Above all, your best defence would be avoiding exposure. This means you need to stay away from sick people, adhere to proper hygiene, and wear a mask in public.
You should also know that people whose health is compromised by chronic conditions are more likely to contract the virus. So, if you’re diagnosed with prevailing chronic conditions, it’s immensely crucial to strengthen the immune system to prevent viral infections.
Since you are here today, this article will give you informative tips for protecting yourself from viral infections. But before that, you will become familiar with the most common types of viral infections. Please stay tuned until the end to learn more about it.
Let’s get started!
Virus - What is it?
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Viruses are typically unicellular organisms comprising genetic materials - DNA and RNA. Besides, they are surrounded by a protein coat.
When the harmful virus proliferates within the body, it automatically paves the way for a viral infection. Furthermore, it shows significant symptoms inflicted due to tissue damage along with the associated immune response of the host.
What are the types of Viral Infections?
Here, we have enlisted some of the most common types of viral infection:
This type of viral infection mostly inflicts the common cold along with several other innumerable viruses. The most common symptoms of Rhinovirus are sneezing, coughing, sore throat, headache etc. And these symptoms can typically last for two weeks or less.
Respiratory Viral Infections
This viral infection typically affects the nose, lungs, and respiratory airways. They are usually spread by inhaling droplets that contain virus particles. Some effective common cold prevention methods are avoiding contact with infected people and coughing while covering the mouth.
You should also avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands. Also, you need to ensure that all the hard surfaces are disinfected regularly with sanitisers.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
This virus can typically infect the upper and lower respiratory tract with severe infections like pneumonia. Please note that this viral infection can become extremely severe in toddlers, infants, and elderly people.
Seasonal influenza affects a huge percentage of the entire global population. This viral infection's symptoms are more severe than the common cold. Sometimes, the patients might also experience severe fatigue and body aches.
Viral Infections - How to Combat Them?
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Cold and flu generally occur during the season of fall and winter. However, the viruses are entirely responsible for viral illnesses which happen around the year.
Combating viral infections almost takes a toll on people since they lose their valuable time for nothing. Thus, it’s immensely vital for you to adhere to some effective strategies for cold prevention. This will not just help in maintaining your overall health but can also provide aid for avoiding sickness.
Most viral infections can resolve on their own and don't require any kind of treatment. But sometimes, viral infections are dealt with only through symptom relief. In fact, certain antiviral medications directly work on viruses and prevent them from further mutation.
Here, we have made a comprehensive listing of the most commendable viral infection prevention tips:
Get Annual Booster Vaccinations
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The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that vaccination is the best way to prevent seasonal flu infections. Flu usually occurs whenever a person is infected with an influenza virus.
The majority of the flu vaccines comprise influenza antigens that provide aid to your immune system. Furthermore, it sends signals to your immune system to produce antibodies. These can efficiently protect you from the flu and viruses, thereby lowering your chances of falling sick.
You should note that four types of influenza viruses can efficiently mutate throughout the year. But vaccines have greater potency of reducing the mutations and lowering the effectiveness of the seasonal flu. Make sure you consult with your healthcare provider before acquiring any influenza virus vaccine.
When you obtain the correct vaccine, it can prevent around 40-60% of flu infections. However, flu vaccines don't really guarantee you a well-built immunity. But they can definitely reduce the severity of the viral infection's prevailing symptoms and lower the potential risks. In other words, the chances of severity are lower, and you will not require hospitalisation.
Keep Your Surroundings Clean
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Flu and common colds are the most common types of respiratory infections. Viruses that pave the way for these illnesses can seamlessly replicate and double themselves within the mucus membranes. This typically lines the respiratory tract and travels through the air in tiny droplets of mucus.
So people infected with cold and flu can deliberately spread the virus whenever they sneeze or cough without covering their face. Researchers have proved that influenza viruses can travel up to 3.7 metres and around 12.2 ft. So, the virus gets into the air whenever an infected person coughs or sneezes.
However, you can reduce the risk of infection by staying indoors whenever you are ill. Also, make sure that you cover your face whenever you sneeze or cough. This will help prevent the spread of the virus amongst the people around you and take care of you.
Disinfect Surfaces Regularly
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You would be surprised to know that viruses can easily survive on various surfaces like plastic, metal, paper, fabrics, glass, etc. The duration of how long the virus can remain infectious on various surfaces depends on the humidity and temperature.
Studies also suggest that influenza viruses have the capability to survive outside the human body. And they have remarkable potency to survive for extended periods and months.
Nevertheless, you can significantly lower the risk of infection by using products that contain bleach or alcohol. This will help in thoroughly disinfecting frequently used objects like desks, countertops, keyboards, etc.
Whenever you use any cleaning or disinfecting products, make sure you read the label very carefully. Also, you need to follow the instructions very carefully so that you can disinfect all surfaces very carefully.
Adhere to Good Hygiene
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Since viruses are microscopic, they can seamlessly enter your respiratory tract through your eyes, nose, mouth, etc. So when you unknowingly or unintentionally touch a contaminated surface and then touch your face, you can potentially infect yourself.
Thus, it is immensely crucial to wash your hands thoroughly at regular intervals. Make sure that you follow the cleansing procedure with clean soap and water. According to healthcare professionals and experts, this is regarded as the most effective way to protect yourself against any viral infections.
Researchers have found that adhering to well-maintained hygiene can significantly decrease severe respiratory illnesses like colds and flu. If soap is not handy or available at your workplace, you might consider using alcohol-based hand sanitisers. This will work as an effective alternative to the infection-combating medicated soaps.
Incorporate Fibres in Your Diet
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Including plenty of dietary fibres in your diet is probably one of the best home remedies for viral infection. Apart from preventing viral infections, it can also aid in regulating digestion, thereby preventing constipation. Furthermore, it automatically lowers the risk of several health conditions.
There have been several studies that also suggest that dietary fibres can significantly boost your immune system. And the short-chain fatty acids present within the dietary fibres can typically elevate your immunity towards influenza infections.
Consume Zinc Supplements
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You will probably know that zinc is an immensely crucial micronutrient that occurs naturally in fish, meat, nuts, etc. A review suggests that zinc deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response and inflammatory skin conditions. And those who have a considerably weaker immune response have a lower capability of combating viral infections.
Another study proves that zinc lozenges have the potency to reduce the prevailing duration of the common cold.
Practise Regular Exercises
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Did you know that practising regular physical activity can automatically improve a person’s overall health and well-being? Besides, it also provides aid in reducing the risk of several illnesses, such as:
- Anxiety and stress
- Chronic heart disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Several types of cancer, etc.
Apart from these benefits, there are other potential advantages too. Studies have proved that regulated physical activity has the potential to improve a person’s immune function. In fact, it also helps in reducing the probable risks of respiratory infections.
Researchers have also examined the benefits of physical exercise and meditation for combating acute respiratory infections. Healthcare practitioners believe that any physical activity is always better than none.
So, to experience considerable health benefits, both adults and youngsters must exercise regularly. Adults must practise at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. Or a minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week would also suffice and do the needful.
Remember that you can also consider evenly distributing this activity throughout the week.
Avoid Smoking Tobacco
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Smoking is an extremely well-known risk factor for plenty of chronic diseases like asthma, cancer, and respiratory infections. In fact, passive smoking can also elevate the chances of risk of a person developing these conditions.
Regular or chain smokers inhale the smoke of tobacco very frequently. So they are very likely to experience severe symptoms of cold and flu whenever they are infected. A study has also found that tobacco smoke can deliberately affect the immune system of a person. Furthermore, it also reduces the capability of a person to combat viral infections on their own.
Thus quitting smoke and avoiding passive smoking can remarkably help in improving your overall health. Also, it reduces your chances of falling sick often.
By now, you must have a clear idea regarding the strategies for protecting yourself from viral infections. Since typical viruses are present across the year, it’s important to prepare yourself specifically for the season of cold and flu.Practising proper hygiene and acquiring flu vaccines annually will definitely help in protecting yourself. Apart from this, consuming the Zandu Chirakin Tablet will help in managing and building your overall health, immunity, and wellness. In fact, you can consider using them for managing mild and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.