Sicknesses and diseases can be scary, especially for those with a compromised immune system. However, other than handwashing, many people are at a loss when it comes to preventing the spreads of certain illnesses - especially those that are viral. Viral infections such as influenza and coronavirus are caused by viruses rather than bacteria, and thus, preventing them involves a few different approaches.
What is a virus?
Before telling you how to prevent viral infections, it's important to understand what a virus is. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a virus is “a small parasite that cannot reproduce by itself” and instead uses your own cells and their functioning abilities to replicate and form more viruses that cause an infection. Unlike bacteria, viruses are technically not alive, which means that, while antibacterial wipes and soaps are beneficial to remove the virus from your hands and other surfaces, they cannot actually kill the virus. Instead, soaps and cleaners work to damage the virus, making it unable to infect your cells and replicate.
Now since you have a better understanding of what a virus is, here are some of the top tips for staying healthy this year.
Top 3 Tips for Avoiding Viral Illnesses
Get enough vitamins
A vitamin deficiency isn’t just harmful to your immune system - it’s harmful to your entire body and can lead to health issues later down the road. Eating healthy, getting enough sunlight, and taking supplements when needed are some of the best things you can do for your body. In order to boost your immune system in order to fight off infections, consider increasing the amounts of Vitamin C, found in most citrus fruits, Vitamin B6, found in most green, leafy vegetables, and Vitamin E, found in nuts and spinach, you receive in your diet.
Getting enough sleep each and every night is one of the best and simplest ways to keep your immune system functioning properly so that you can fight off infections. Getting enough sleep is also vital in recovering quickly if you do happen to get sick. This is because proper sleep helps your T cells, which are a type of cell produced by your immune system that is active in defense. Sleep requirements vary from person to person, but the average adult will need anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Practice social distancing
Social distancing is one of the best things you can practice to keep, not only you but those around you safe from viral illnesses this year. Social distancing refers to a series of techniques and practices that you can adopt in your everyday routine to help prevent the spread of disease, and it includes things such as avoiding large groups, keeping a reasonable distance from others, especially those that are exhibiting any signs of illness such as coughing and avoiding those that are immunocompromised if you have been around infected people in recent times.
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