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In Transit: 7 Ways Viruses Are Transmitted

Posted on June 15, 2015 | Author and Reviewed by: Dan Lois B. Villanueva. RPh

When you get sick, you immediately drink medicine for cough and cold (or whatever is appropriate) to shoo away the symptoms of the sickness. Do you know the source of your illness? There are six different ways it could have been transferred to you. Without further ado, we present to you seven different ways a virus can be transmitted.

 

Contact

touch

Direct

When a person is sick, they often say to a healthy individual not to touch them as they are sick and may infect the other. Obey him as what may occur is a direct transfer of virus. It happens when the virus of a sick person affects another by bodily contact. This includes illnesses contracted by a person having direct contact with another’s bodily fluids such as coitus or kissing. Note that there are cases where the person is merely a carrier and will exhibit no symptoms at all.

Direct transmission can occur when a mother breastfeeds her baby. If the mother has human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), she can transfer the illness to her infant as the baby’s low weight can make them more prone to being infected by the virus.

Indirect

Your mum may have told you once or twice not to touch dirty things as you might get sick. As usual, she was correct as you may have gotten ill via indirect infection. This occurs when a body contacts an infected surface. By surface, this can be medical equipment (like thermometers), pillows and toys.

An example of a disease that can be transferred by indirect contact is rhinovirus and Norwalk.

Droplet

Take a few steps away from any coughing or sneezing person as you may get infected by the flying fluids. This is called droplet transmission and it occurs when a person’s bodily fluids enter your open orifices like the eyes or mouth by talking, sneezing or coughing.

Illnesses that may be transferred via this transmission are Pneumonia, Rubella and Bordetella.

Vertical Transmission

Vertical transmission occurs when the mother transmits an illness to the fetus or infant she is carrying inside her womb. This may happen when the mother becomes ill during the pregnancy or it may be a pre-existing condition. An example of an illness that may be passed on is Hepatitis B to E.

 

Non-Contact

no touch

Airborne

There are times when you fall sick without having any clue where you may have gotten the illness from. You may have been infected via airborne transmission which is when the virus is transmitted to you via viruses hanging in the air.

A couple of examples of illnesses like these are measles and chickenpox.

Vector Borne

After being bitten by a dog, you immediately go to the hospital in fear of being infected by the rabies virus. The dog is who you call the vector and the rabies is transferred via vector borne transmission. This occurs when an animal or insect is the carrier of the disease and transfers it to the human by biting or physical contact.

Viruses that can be transferred by this transmission are anthrax and influenza.

Vehicle

One of the top advices given by any seasoned traveler is to go out and try the cuisine but make sure it comes from a reliable source. Listen to this sound advice and you just might avoid being infected by a food borne virus. Called vehicle transmission (nope, nothing to do with cars), the vehicle is the contaminated source that carries the virus. This can come from water, improperly cooked food or tampered food.

A couple of waterborne viruses are Hepatitis A and Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome while examples of foodborne viruses are Enterovirus and Hepatitis E.

Practice good hygiene and you will be one step closer to a clean bill of health. Do not forget to drink your vitamins and once you feel ill, immediately seek medical help to avoid complications.