A virus is a microscopic parasite that is generally much smaller than bacteria and is not able to survive or reproduce outside of a host body. Viruses are so small that the measles virus is about eight times smaller than E.coli bacteria. Another fascinating fact about viruses is that they are not alive, which is why they are unable to reproduce. So how does it manage to propagate?

Viruses manage to survive by hijacking another cell. Since it is not alive, you cannot kill a virus, but it can be deactivated or destroyed. In fact, our bodies are equipped with antibodies that bind to a virus to stop them from replicating and tag viruses so that other blood cells are able to destroy them.

Another common misconception is that antibiotics will treat a viral infection. However, antibiotics only kill bacteria. Some might think that ingesting antibiotics will be helpful against a viral disease, but in fact, this could actually bring on more problems.

Taking antibiotics when not needed or as instructed by healthcare professionals causes other common bacteria within the body to become drug-resistant. Unfortunately, some doctors still prescribe antibiotics for viral infections such as colds to ease the patients’ concerns or as a preventive measure to avoid a bacterial infection that usually follows when the body is weak.

One of the biggest drivers of the increase in antibiotic resistance worldwide is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. If antibiotics are stopped earlier than prescribed, the bacteria are given the opportunity to replicate and become more resistant as there is not enough antibiotic present.

Even if you feel better, make sure to take the required doses of antibiotics to eliminate the bacterial infection, but antibiotics should not be taken for a viral infection.  

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