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3 Things you Need to Know about Regular Viruses

(NC) Certain types of viruses can cause upper respiratory infections, which are acute illnesses that affect the nasal passages and throat. As we enter the peak of cold season, it’s more important than ever to understand what makes them so contagious, and how you can protect yourself.   

To help you steer clear of upper respiratory viruses, keep reading to learn more about the science and how to help prevent viruses from spreading.

Viruses cause most upper respiratory infections, including the common cold
The most common upper respiratory infection is the common cold. There are more than 200 strains of cold viruses, with rhinoviruses being the most prevalent. “Colds are the most common infectious disease in humans,” says Walid Shammas MD, VP scientific affairs, Avrio Health Canada. “Most adults experience two to three colds every year, and children can have even more.”

Sore throats, are often the first sign of an upper respiratory infection. While people often believe sore throats are a bacterial infection, over 85 per cent of throat infections are actually caused by viruses.

Viruses spread in two main ways
Upper respiratory viruses spread through the air when in close proximity to infected people. They also spread through contact with people or objects that have viruses present when followed by contact with the nose or mouth. “To avoid spreading and catching viruses, it’s important to avoid touching your face – especially the nose, mouth and eyes,” says Dr. Shammas. “Touching these areas can introduce the virus into your upper respiratory system.”

Viruses can’t be treated with antibiotics
Unlike bacterial infections, viruses cannot be treated by antibiotics. Instead, look for antibiotic-free products that are approved by Health Canada to help treat the viruses that can cause upper respiratory infections. Whether your upper respiratory infection is in the nose or throat, there are products available over the counter, including Betadine Cold Defence Nasal Spray and Sore Throat products, that are proven to help treat viral infections so you can feel better.

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