Every day we come into contact with millions of invisible warriors just waiting to destroy us! In fact, if we could see them, the consequences would be devastating! Thankfully, most of us come equipped with our own arsenal of defenses against these invisible invaders.
Bacteria, viruses and fungi are the invaders. They can be found on all surfaces and all over our bodies. Most are spread by hand to mouth contact or person to person contact. Once in our system they begin their attack.
Bacteria have all the components they need to keep themselves alive and to reproduce. Some cause illness, while others help our bodies function normally. Bacterial infections are usually localized and can be treated and killed by antibiotics.
Viruses are not self sufficient. They need a host cell to survive. They inject their genetic material into the hosts cell, reprograming the cell to produce more virus. As the virus replicates the cell begins to swell and eventually bursts releasing more virus. Viral infections are usually systemic. They can be treated with antiviral medications that slow their reproduction or with vaccines that lessen the likelihood of contracting them. No viruses are good viruses and they cannot be killed.
The best defense we have against both of these invaders is to keep our immune systems healthy. This can be achieved by eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, keeping good hygiene and getting enough sleep. Routine medical visits are also necessary for staying healthy.
Of course, avoiding exposure is essential! The best ways to avoid contamination are frequent hand washing, avoid touching the face and mouth, sneezing and coughing into your arm and most importantly staying away from others when you are sick!
From Lynette: “I live in Bethany, Connecticut, with my husband Robert and my two young children. I have been a Physician Assistant for twelve years. I Graduated from the Quinnipiac Physician Assistant Program in 2000 with a Masters of Health Science and a Physician Assistant degree. I passed my National Certification Board later that year. I am currently employed with General Practitioners of Bethany,Branford and Hamden. I am also an Adjunct Clinical Professor for both Quinnipiac and Bridgeport Universities.