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The doctors on Heal can help diagnose and treat viruses. A virus is a particle 100 times smaller than the average bacteria. Viruses are not technically alive, as they cannot replicate on their own. In order to reproduce, they must infect a host cell of an organism (such as a human, animal, or plant). Once inside a host organism’s cells, a virus will hijack that cell’s machinery in order to reproduce.

Viruses cause a number of infectious diseases in humans from the common cold, influenza, and warts, to more serious diseases including HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and Zika.

Vaccines are biological agents that provide immunity to specific diseases. Vaccines are the most effective method of protection against certain viruses, including measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), Influenza, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and chicken pox. For most viral infections, the course of treatment usually includes treating the symptoms of the infection while waiting for the immune system to fight the virus. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria and are ineffective against viruses.