Infectious Diseases

What is the Role of Viruses on Planet Earth

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"What is the Role of Viruses on Planet Earth"
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Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Viruses are an organism which can be both harmful and helpful. They have existed since the solar system developed. Generally people think of viruses as a bad thing. Something which caused illness and at times even death. Actually they can be a good thing when they attack our immune system resulting in it becoming stronger so that it is better able to ward off more harmful viruses.

Viruses are able to mutate. This means that they can change and adapt to become resistant to being killed. Antibiotics are a substance which can over power and kill a virus in an animal or person. Some antibiotics are man made such as pharmaceuticals and other are naturally occurring such as onions and garlic which have anti viral properties. It is important to remember that man made antibiotics cannot be relied on too heavily. It is best to use natural antibiotics and to stay well rested and sufficiently hydrated as the main strategy to be strong enough to fight off viruses. The other primary way to protect against virus induced illness is to manage germs effectively by proper frequent hand washing and maintaining an environment with fresh clean air. For example, ensure windows are opened on a regular basis to allow stale virus contaminated air to be replaced by fresh clean air. When a virus does affect a person or animal it is important to flush the system out with a lot of water and to allow extra opportunities for rest to recover. At times a pharmaceutical antibiotic may be required to facilitate recovery. Given virus' ability to mutate one should use them only when one's own system is run down and may be unable to fight off the virus or in cases where the virus is known to be potentially serious and less invasive means have failed.

Sometimes a virus can be a good thing when it weakens or kills off a species which is beginning to become too prevalent in an ecosystem and threatens to upset the balance of it. The phrase 'survival of the fittest' is a good thing to keep in mind when caring for one's health. If a person or animal stays well nourished and gets adequate rest it will be fitter and better able to overcome the effects of contracting a virus. So as the flu season approaches focus on staying fit and remember stress weakens the immune system. So instead of worrying about catching a virus focus on caring well for yourself, your loved ones and your pets so when a virus it contracted it will be easier to overcome its effects.

More about this author: Laura Weiland

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