Viruses are FASCINATING. They’re in between living and non-living, and thus require host organisms to replicate.
Viruses exist in 2 cycle phases: lysogenic and lysis. Lysogenic is when a virus is just chillin’ inside of a cell. Lysis is when it explodes from and kills the host cell, much like a creepy sci-fi alien bursting out of a chest cavity.
The best defense against viruses? Our immune systems! There are two major types of antibodies that attack and neutralize viruses: IgM (produced for two weeks) and IgG (produced indefinitely).
I spoke with an immunobiologist once at a training session and she freaked everyone out by saying how we all have lots of different viruses in our bodies. The more I read about viruses the more I understand how this can be so as many viruses can exist in an organism without compromising homeostasis (stability) because IgG is keeping it dormant and in-line.
One more thing for the ladies:
Hormonal birth control methods (esp. The Pill) can increase your risk of contracting a virus.
Why? Oestrogens (female associated hormones such as estrogen) cause ectopy of the cervix, where the inner lining of the uterus becomes partially exposed at the cervical opening. More sensitive tissue=higher chance of transmission.
Also, oestrogens may suppress your immune system, effectively hindering your ability to combat a virus.