We have approached the beginning of another new academic year. During this period, our children commonly get sick, usually from each other. A great percentage of these illnesses are viral infections. Everyone can be exposed to viruses and viral infections. A simple cold is caused by a virus, as well as the flu and gastroenteritis. Our 2 defence mechanisms are namely the following: The defence particles our bodies create against a virus and vaccinations.
A virus is a micro-organism that, in order to replicate needs living cells. That is the biggest difference between a virus and bacteria. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria. The structure of a virus is in fact a package of genetic material, known as DNA or RNA. There are about 200 pathogenic or disease causing viruses known. Well-known examples are the viruses that cause colds, flu and gastroenteritis.A virus particle penetrates a cell of the child, the host. It uses that cell for the necessary substances, and is going to reproduce. The cell then dies; this death involves the release of a large number of new virus particles, which go on penetrating and reproducing in the same way.
A child’s body usually reacts through the production of defense particles called “Antibodies”, which can make the virus harmless. This is referred to as natural immunity or resistance. This happens when someone gets an infection such as a cold or the flu. Antibiotics do not help with infections caused by viruses. The biggest step that man has made in the fight against viral infections is the development of vaccinations or immunizations. The greatest success in this regard was achieved by the eradication of “Smallpox” viruses. Developing vaccines remains difficult as viruses change frequently in their structure or DNA/RNA. A particular vaccine is effective against a specific type of virus, if the virus changes its structure, a new vaccine has to be developed.
Because viruses are very contagious, it is very difficult to prevent infection. What can be done is to try to reduce the risk of spreading the virus by using paper handkerchiefs for one time, covering the mouth when sneezing and coughing and always washing hands. Washing hands after using the toilet and before eating is also important. Teach your child good hygiene and keep their environment clean. It is also significant to make sure that your child is up-to-date with her or his immunizations.
If you are concerned or need more information please contact your doctor! Call Mobile Doctors 24-7 on 800MD247 (80063247).
Because viruses are very contagious, it is very difficult to prevent infection so try to reduce the risk of spreading the virus by using paper handkerchiefs for one time, covering the mouth when sneezing and coughing and always washing hands
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