Transmission Differences Between Viruses and Bacteria
Like the previous infections, many viral infections are also contagious. Viruses can be transmitted between people in many of the same ways as bacteria. Coming into close contact with a person who has a viral infection or with the body fluids of someone with a viral infection, as in mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy or childbirth and coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. Also, like bacterial infections, viruses can be transmitted by an insect bite or by consuming food or water that is contaminated.
There is no specific treatment for many viral infections. Generally, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms, while the body works to clear the infection. Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration, getting plenty of rest, using pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve aches, pains, and fever, or taking decongestants to help with a runny or stuffy nose are the best ways to deal with a virus.
- Get vaccinated: Many vaccines are available to help prevent various diseases of one kind or another. Examples of vaccine-preventable diseases are measles, flu, tetanus, or whooping cough.
- Well-cooked food: All meats must be cooked to the right temperature. Also, wash raw fruits or vegetables well before eating them. It is crucial not to allow leftover food to stay at room temperature; they should be refrigerated immediately.
- Do not go out if you are sick: Stay home if you have an illness of this type to help prevent the spread of infection. If you must go out, wash your hands frequently and sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow or a tissue. Make sure to dispose of used tissues properly.
- Practice good hygiene: Be sure to wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, and before and after handling food. Avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose if your hands are not clean. Do not share personal items such as eating utensils, glasses, towels, or toothbrushes.