A broad range of diseases are related to viruses - Researcher Dr. William Matzner explains
Viruses are proliferating at an exponential rate. Every day, we hear of a new strand of viruses that emerge from other types of viruses. The new article by medical doctor and researcher William Lee Matzner brings you up to date.
Before discussing anything any further, let us start with what essentially viral infections are. Viral infections or viral diseases are developed when viruses or infectious virus particles, called virions, invade vulnerable, susceptible body cells. These viruses affect the body by attaching themselves to cells and mutating and infecting them.
Viral infections are of numerous types. While some are not very harmful, others can even lead to death. Common viral diseases include common cold, flu, chicken pox, shingles, fifth disease etc. Other, more serious viral diseases are HIV, Hepatitis, Ebola, and Zika etc.
The signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of each viral infection vary greatly based on the type of viral disease developed. For instance, the common cold, flu, and chicken pox all have similar signs symptoms like fever, body ache, headaches etc., while HIV symptoms differ significantly and are much more serious like vomiting, mouth and genital sores, skin rashes, and many more.
Similarly, the diagnostic techniques used for identifying every infection are also very different. For instance, for self-limiting viral diseases like the cold and flu, a few symptoms are enough to identify the cause. However, for infections like HIV, there are specialized test kits and blood tests that aim at identifying the infection by looking for the virus that caused it.
Treatments for the diseases like the cold, flu, chicken pox etc. generally focus on reducing symptoms of the infection, like antipyretics for fever reduction and painkillers for the body and headaches. However, for infections caused by more powerful viruses, stronger and more targeted, specialized treatments are required. For instance, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are needed for Zika virus. However, for dengue, treatments that are more complex are required.
Fortunately for many, there are vaccines available for a number of viruses today. Vaccines for the flu, common cold, chicken pox, and shingles, for example, are easily accessible.
Precaution is needed in order to avoid most viral infections. Personal hygiene must be prioritized at all times. Practices such as washing hands as much as possible, getting yourself vaccinated against common viral diseases and avoiding physical contact with those infected is of utmost importance. In case you or anyone you know show symptoms of a viral disease, seek medical assistance immediately, advises Dr. Matzner.
*** Dr. William Matzner works in the area of healthcare economics consulting at Healthcare Analytics, LLC, in California.
Healthcare Analytics LLC
Dr. William Lee Matzner