How Are Viruses Spread and What Can You Do to Stay Healthy?

January 29, 2021

The current global health crisis has almost everyone concerned. You may be wondering how are viruses spread? To help keep everyone safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, this guide has the answers to all of your virus questions.

Knowing how to stop the spread is one of the best ways you can help keep yourself, your family, and other people safe.

From what a virus is to how to kill them, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about stopping the spread. Here’s your go-to virus safety guide.

What Is a Virus?

A virus is a genome particle or the long molecule of RNA or DNA. These contain the genetic information needed to reproduce the virus. A capsid is like a blanket that wraps itself around the virus giving it protection.

Certain viruses also have an additional layer that acts as an envelope. This envelope consists of lipids.The coronavirus which causes COVID-19 is a type of virus with an envelope.Luckily, soap can actually dissolve the envelope containing the virus particle.This is why proper hand washing is so effective in killing COVID-19.

Viruses all vary in terms of how they will affect us. Herpes, for example, can stay dormant in our body for months without showing any signs. Cold and flu viruses or a coronavirus can make us sick within days of becoming infected.

Some viruses replicate very quickly and can harm their host quickly as well. If the infected person dies, the virus won’t be able to spread to other people. A virus that has a lot of time to spread is one that replicates slowly. COVID-19 falls into this category.

How Are Viruses Spread?

Viruses are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets. These droplets can enter the air through your nose or mouth. When a person is infected with a virus, they most often spread it through close talking and coughing or sneezing.

Viruses can also be transmitted on surfaces. Depending on the virus, it can last anywhere from a few hours to several days on a surface. If a sick person sneezes on a counter, for example, someone else in their household who touches the counter right after them could be infected.

Not all viruses can live on surfaces for very long. Other viruses shed a lot of droplets and can be very contagious on a surface. Commonly infected surfaces often include counters, doorknobs, toilets, and tables.

Viruses can also be spread through bodily fluids or shedding skin. Because viruses are often so contagious, it’s important for sick people to remain isolated to stop the spread.

How a Cloth Face Mask Works

Putting on PPE or a cloth face mask is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of a virus. A cloth face mask or a medical-grade mask blocks respiratory droplets from entering the air. It will also help to block an airborne virus from entering your nose or mouth.

Because a virus is most often spread through your nose or mouth, wearing a cloth face mask is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and others.

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, several states, cities, and countries are mandating cloth face masks to be worn. These masks should be worn in public as well as in social situations when you’re unable to keep a three to the six-foot distance between other people. 

Other Precaution Measures

In addition to cloth face masks, there are other precautions you can take to stop the spread of viruses. Disinfecting is a great way to kill a virus on your hands or a surface. Using alcohol or bleach-based cleaner can be almost 99% effective in killing a virus. 

When cleaning and disinfecting products are in short supply, don’t discount the use of good old-fashioned soap and hot water. The temperature of the water in addition to soap or a cleaning product will help trap the virus and wash it down the sink or on a cleaning cloth.

Hand sanitizer is another option when you aren’t near a sink with soap. Keeping wipes and hand sanitizer close to you when you’re in public or touching public surfaces will help.

Distance Helps Stop the Spread

In addition to masks and good hygiene, keeping your distance is another great way to reduce the spread.If you don’t feel well, stay home. Although you may not have COVID-19, cold and flu season is dangerous as well.

Stay home if you’re sick and limit your interactions with people in your household. Visiting a doctor virtually about your symptom scan also be helpful. 

When you’re out in public or with friends or family, it’s best to also stay three to six feet apart. The father you are, the harder it is for the virus to enter your nose, mouth, or skin.

Staying Healthy 101

If you’re wondering how are viruses spread, you’re not alone. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of concern and panic. Thankfully, there are a few things we do know to help stop the spread of viruses.

From proper hand washing to wearing cloth face masks, there are a few things you can to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe. These precautions also help stop the spread and keep other people safe as well.

If you find yourself in a medical crisis, fill out the contact form here to see a telehealth professional from the comfort of your own home.

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