How Can We Prevent the Spread of Viruses?

Without a doubt, you already know that the main via for the spread of viruses is our hands. Certain basic measures exist that we can apply in order to prevent contagion.
How Can We Prevent the Spread of Viruses?
María Vijande

Reviewed and approved by the pharmacist María Vijande.

Written by María Vijande

Last update: 27 May, 2022

In these days that we’re living in, it’s more important than ever to understand how to prevent the spread of viruses.

According to statistics, the great majority of infectious illnesses are produced by viruses. for example, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rotavirus, adenovirus, and, of course, coronavirus. Normally, the use of antibiotics doesn’t tend to be effective, since the purpose of these pharmaceuticals is the treatment of bacterial infections.

What are the main vias for the spread of viruses?

Without a doubt, you already know that the main via for the spread of viruses is our hands. These extremities are in continuous contact with objects that other people have touched, and we use our hands to touch our noses and mouths repeatedly without even realizing it.

Therefore, it’s very easy for the microorganisms of one person to infect another. And although hands are the main means of contagion, there are others that are also very common:

  • Respiratory airways: When people that are ill sneeze or cough, they expel a certain amount of viral particles, which then enter another person’s body when they inhale them.
  • Poorly-ventilated rooms: The accumulation of viral particles in the environment usually occurs due to a lack of ventilation in the room.
What is a virus?
Viruses are microscopic entities that can spread in a variety of ways

Habits to prevent the spread of viruses

As you can see, it’s very easy both to spread and to catch viral illnesses. Therefore, we want to share a series of very useful guidelines when it comes to the prevention of the spread of viruses, even though we’re probably very familiar with them by now.

  1. Use disposable tissues: Tissue that you can use and throw away are the most hygienic option. Therefore, we should avoid using cloth. When you need to sneeze or cough, try to cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue. If you don’t have a tissue on hand, then you should cover your face with the inside of your arm–not your hand.
  2. Use a mask: In order to protect yourself from the viral particles that infected individuals have expelled, masks are the best means of prevention. You don’t necessarily need to use a medical mask. Rather, you can use a scarf, bandana, or handkerchief–especially in places where there are a lot of people.
  3. Wash your hands frequently: This is another one of the best means for preventing the spread of viruses. You should wash your hands with soap and water every time you cough or sneeze.
  4. Practice proper hygiene when preparing foods: This is key when it comes to keeping others from getting sick, as well as not eating foods that are expired.
  5. Ventilate rooms: As we mentioned, poorly ventilated rooms contain numerous viral particles. Therefore, being sure to ventilate your home every morning for at least 15 minutes is fundamental. That way, clean air can enter and circulate within each room.
  6. Don’t drink water that’s not potable: At the same time, you should never share silverware or cups with other people.

Are vaccines effective in the prevention of the spread of viruses?

Currently, when it comes to respiratory viruses, scientists have only managed to synthesize a vaccine for the influenza virus. Therefore, for now, this is the only respiratory virus whose spread we can prevent. However, they must modify its effectiveness every year because these viruses have a great capacity to mutate.

Apart from the vaccine for the influenza virus, researchers are studying and investigating others, such as, of course, coronavirus, and a vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus. This virus mainly affects children, and we can expect the commercialization of the virus in the next few years.

Research on vaccines.
The vaccine against the influenza virus is the only vaccine that exists today to prevent flu-like infections.


Viral infections are very common and very easy to contract given their easy transmission. However, there’s a series of measures that we can take to prevent these spread of viruses. We need to be aware of the responsibility that we have in avoiding the propagation of certain pathologies.

Proper hand hygiene, as well as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when we sneeze and cough are fundamental. And besides all of the advice provided above, we know that researchers are still investigating new vaccines to protect us from more of these infections.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Jiménez Morales, M. (2008). Publicidad viral: La comunicación por contagio. Hipertext.Net.
  • Hernández-Carreño, L., Padilla-Loredo, S., & Quintero-Soto, M. L. (2012). Factores de riesgo en adolescentes para contraer el virus del papiloma humano. Revista Digital Universitaria.
  • Quian, J., Gutiérrez, S., Dibarboure, H., Muslera, A., Iroa, A., & Arocena, E. (2010). Vacunación antigripal en personal de salud del Hospital Pediátrico del Centro Hospitalario Pereira Rossell. Evolución de la cobertura del año 2006 al 2008. Revista Médica Del Uruguay.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.