Eli5 : How do viral infections phase out after 3-5 days?


Say with covid or any regular influenza like infection, generally we are just prescribed anti inflammatory drugs for fever, and after a few days the infection phases out on its own.. how does that work?

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Some take longer, like Epstein-Barr, or don’t at all, like HIV. The ones that do, your body releases white blood cells to fight the virus, they eventually “learn” how to do it better or more effectively the more that they successfully kill. Eventually the virus gets overwhelmed and isn’t able to reproduce as fast as the antibodies are destroying them in combination with the fact that your body now knows how to handle them and it isn’t as much of a threat.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The immune system is very complicated. But the short of it is your body has to first identify that there is an infection, then parts of your immune system work on killing what they can find. This is where you feel like crap. Your body is making itself as uncomfortable as possible for the virus to slow it’s progress but it’s not very efficient when the visus can reproduce so much faster than you can kill it at this stage.

Part of the system is working to bring pieces of the virus to search your lymph nodes which house cells that know how to kill anything with a protein. It eventually stumbles into the cell that knows how to kill this particular virus. This cell multiplies and spreads out to teach your body how to make the antibodies it needs, and then starts to manufacture them.

This gives your body an advantage that usually burns out the infection faster than it can spread and you win. Your body saves that antibody for later in case the virus comes back and it winds down the immune response until you feel normal again.

The second stage is the longest part. Finding the right antibodies and start making them. This is where vaccines give you a head start that help you kill infections faster and easier.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Viral infections can often be resolved by the body’s own immune system, which fights off the virus and clears it from the body. This process can take several days or even weeks, depending on the specific virus and the individual’s immune system. In the case of a common cold or the flu, the body’s immune system typically responds to the infection by producing inflammation, which helps to fight the virus and protect against further damage. This inflammation can cause symptoms like fever, which can be relieved with anti-inflammatory medications. As the body continues to fight the virus, the immune system becomes more effective at eliminating the virus, and the symptoms of the infection eventually start to improve. In some cases, the body may develop immunity to the virus, which means that it is better able to fight off future infections with that virus.