How long does a virus last?
If someone is suffering from a viral illness or infection (virus for short), then the only thing they want is relief. Fortunately, those who understand how common viruses work may be able to return to health faster. Those who understand viruses can prevent themselves from catching common ailments and can reduce their symptoms faster when they become aware of a virus.
How long does a virus last? Viruses usually stay in one’s system permanently. The symptoms vary depending on the virus. Some symptoms last for weeks and others never disappear. One does not treat a virus but works on curing the symptoms. Millions of viruses exist that are spread through colds, animals, sexual contact, DNA and more. The human body’s immune system is always working to counter any virus a person may come into contact with. If the immune system fails, then vaccines can stop other viruses. Some viruses like HIV cannot be stopped through conventional matters and the symptoms are currently untreatable.
Most humans will contract a virus at some point in their lives. The common cold is a virus that is easily spreadable but usually not serious. How long does a virus last when it is the common cold? Most humans get multiple colds over their lifetime and they last about a week. Those who notice that they are developing a cough, sore throat, fever or runny nose can start taking medication to try to alleviate the symptoms. This virus can be prevented with hand washing and eating healthy can help return a person to normal faster as well, but the quicker action is taken the better, and the less irritating the symptoms will be.
Another common virus is the chickenpox. This virus can be serious in adults but is usually harmless in children. There is no cure for chickenpox, but individuals return to normal once the symptoms are gone. This rash occurs all over the body and causes itchiness and fever. The symptoms typically last a week or less. Some parents expose children to the pox because their immune system will be stronger after, and they will not need to worry about the disease again. This practice can ensure a person does not catch the disease when they are older and it is fatal. However, anyone who catches chickenpox is at risk for shingles.
The chickenpox virus can be reactivated when one is an adult and cause shingles. Shingles usually effects those with weakened immune systems and causes painful blisters, fever, headaches and stabbing pains throughout the body. These symptoms usually last for two to four weeks. However, some still experience lingering pain for up to a year after the outbreak. Some vaccines are available to help prevent shingles for those who may be sensitive to the disease like the elderly or those with HIV.
Some viruses have been serious enough to cause global problems. Viruses like HIV, the flu and smallpox have killed thousands when epidemics have occurred. Many countries no longer fear epidemics because of the availability of vaccines and information. However, third world countries are often ravaged by preventable viruses. Countries like Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Hispaniola, the Congo, and more face threats from meningitis, cholera and measles.
A few viruses are still global issues because there are no vaccinations available. HIV is prevalent across the world. Some countries are making strides at managing HIV, but underdeveloped countries still suffer. Africa faces a huge HIV and AIDS epidemic because people are uneducated about the disease, and there are not enough resources to help individuals. Knowledge has been the biggest factor in stopping the spread of HIV, so organizations are working to educate unserviced areas and slow the transmission of the virus.
How long does a virus last? Unfortunately, the answer is as long as the infected person does. Fortunately, many viruses do not harm individuals after the symptoms are treated. Taking precautions can limit one’s exposure to viruses but does not stop all viruses. The best approach is to get vaccinated, recognize symptoms when they occur and treat the virus accordingly.