A virus is a small infectious particle that can invade a host, such as a human, and begin to replicate itself. When the invasion occurs, the host typically becomes ill and develops symptoms in response to the virus.

Certain illnesses, such as the flu, come and go within 7 to 10 days. Once the virus exits the body, the symptoms disappear. Other types of viruses can enter the body and live within the body permanently. These types of viruses live dormant within the spine of the human and can erupt at any time.

To rid the human body of a virus, there are anti-viral medications. Anti-viral medications do not treat or cure every virus and may not always work well in all humans. Typically, all the virus needs is time--time to run its course and work itself out of the human body. A good example of a virus that just needs time to run its course is the rhotovirus, or stomach flu. Once the virus passes through the intestinal tract, the symptoms usually begin to reside within a day or two until they are completely gone.

Transmission typically occurs when a virus lies on a hard surface, such as a table, door knob or telephone, and another person comes into contact with the virus. Certain viruses are air born, which means that if one person coughs or sneezes, the particles are released through these secretions into the air and then another person inhales them inadvertently.

Good hand-washing habits along with sanitation techniques can help reduce the amount of germs spread to reduce communicating a virus. Anti-bacterial soaps coupled with hot water and hand sanitizer can prevent numerous illnesses. The use of bleach water on hard surfaces such as toys, door knobs, counter tops, school desks and similar surfaces can also kill viruses and other germs.

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