4 Common Viral Infections and How to Avoid Them

Unfortunately, there are some very common viruses in the world. 

Sometimes, it seems like humans are always getting sick. 

So isn’t there a way to avoid getting some of these viruses—so that we can actually stay healthy and avoid always landing sick in bed (or worse, in the doctor’s office)? 

Well, it’s true that there are a lot of viruses going around out there. 

But it’s also true that you can do a lot to protect yourself and avoid them. 

In other words–it’s not a lost cause! And you actually have quite a bit of power to help keep yourself healthy. 

So in this post, we’re going to talk about 4 common viral infections and steps that you can take to avoid each one. 

These safety measures may not always keep you 100% safe from infection. But at least they can help you to cut back on your risk. 

So let’s break it down. 

1. The Common Cold

A lot of people don’t know this, but the common cold is actually a viral infection that can be caused by a number of different viruses. 

It’s to be expected that you’re going to catch this ailment at least a couple of times per year. But the good news is that there are quite a few steps that you can take to avoid it. 

Prevention steps include: Washing your hands, disinfecting your surroundings, covering your cough, sneezing into tissues, not sharing glasses, food, or utensils with people who are infected, and staying away from people who are currently sick with it. 

It’s also possible that marijuana can help to prevent (or even possibly help to treat) viral infections like the common cold. 

Veriheal describes it like this:

“In light of the recent research that suggests that cannabis could help prevent COVID-19, many people have started speculating about the relationship between cannabinoids and viral infections.”

2. Influenza (The Flu)

The flu is a well-known illness that’s caused by a number of different influenza viruses that can infect the nose, throat, and even the lungs. 

Sometimes it’s mild–but it can also become severe. 

Here are some action steps that you can take to help prevent catching influenza:

  • Get a flu vaccine every year
  • Stay away from people who are currently infected
  • Make sure to wash your hands frequently
  • Disinfect areas that could contain germs (like doorknobs and desktop surfaces)

3. Herpes

There is actually a whole family of Herpes Simplex Viruses (HSV). A lot of people don’t know this, but HSV-1 is the virus responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2 is generally the Herpes that’s associated with being a sexually transmitted infection. 

Herpes 1 is mainly transmitted via contact with the virus in sores, saliva, and/or surfaces around the mouth. 

Herpes 2 is usually spread through sexual contact. 

The best way to prevent catching HSV-1 is to avoid close contact with infected people when sores are present, as contact with the sores (even indirectly, via sharing drinks, etc.) is generally what spreads it. 

For HSV-2, condoms can be worn to help prevent the spread—though this is not a 100% certain method of protecting yourself from contact with the virus. 

The crazy thing about HSV is that it can even be spread if sores are not present through a process called viral shedding. 

How’s that for nightmare fuel?

4. Mumps

Mumps is a viral illness that’s caused by a paramyxovirus, which is a member of the Rubulavirus family. 

The best way to prevent Mumps is to get vaccinated for it. This vaccination is included in the MMR vaccine (measles-mumps-rubella) and the MMRV vaccines (measles-mumps-rubella-varicella).

Aside from this, Mumps tends to be spread in the same manner as the cold or the flu—so it tends to be transferred via infected droplets of saliva, and can be picked up or inhaled. 

Therefore, the prevention of Mumps is very similar to the same measures taken to prevent the cold or the flu. 

Conclusion

Viruses are kind of scary to talk about. 

But the good news is that humans are pretty adept at fighting them off. 

Hopefully, these steps will help you to take the proper preventative measures. 

Just remember—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

It’s always better to take preventative steps when it comes to viruses—as once you get them, treatment options tend to be limited. 

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