Viruses — when they strike how much of your immune system is compromised? How likely is it that secondary infections will follow?

Viruses are small infectious agents which depend on the cells they infect to reproduce. Because they are quite different to bacteria in the way in which they reproduce, antibiotics have absolutely no effect on them whatsoever.

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Infections, such as ‘flu or Norovirus, can cause unpleasant symptoms, although they are usually short-lived. With rare exceptions (such as Acyclovir, which reduces viral DNA synthesis in herpes infections), medication doesn’t kill a virus, and so the best way to overcome a viral infection is, amongst other things, to have plenty of rest which allows the immune system to harness as much energy as it can to aid recovery.

Viruses can occasionally cause chronic, or long-standing infections – take Epstein Barr Virus, for instance. A large proportion of the population is exposed to EBV, which causes infective mononucleosis, commonly known as Glandular Fever. Symptoms are usually mild and self-limiting, and include symptoms such as fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.

But what happens when viral infections become chronic? The constant challenge to the immune system uses up vital resources of energy. The immune system, which hasn’t quite done the job properly, continues to do what it can, but the continued presence of the virus in the body can have other health effects as energy levels fall over the years.

Can viruses cause other diseases?

Because they replicate within the cells of the body, viruses may have the potential to disrupt DNA. A single virus particle is in itself essentially inert because it lacks the necessary machinery to reproduce. But, some viruses must enter the cell’s nucleus in order to do so.

The Epstein Barr Virus has been found in a Burkitt lymphoma, and the virus is thought to play a role in the development of some other cancers (lymphoma and some throat cancers). The Human Papillomavirus is incredibly common; it causes the common wart, and verrucas. But, it has also been implicated in the development of cervical cancer, and more recently research suggests that it may be associated with oral malignancy also. Hepatitis B Virus is also known to cause liver cancer in some cases, and this is usually years after infection with the virus. Since the the AIDS epidemic, the incidence of Kaposis Sarcoma (caused by Herpesvirus) has increased by tens of thousands-fold among people with AIDS after the emergence of immune suppression owing to the HIV.

There are connections between innate immunity, immune sensors and tumour suppressor signalling, that control both viral infection and cancer. Vaccination programmes against two human tumour viruses (Hepatitis B virus and Human Papillomavirus) have already begun to alter age-old cancer patterns on an international scale. Perhaps every virus has the potential to cause cancer - although only a very small proportion actually do so.

What’s the good news?

The answer is two-fold. Create a healthy immune system, and target the virus.

It is the aim of FCT to offer both these routes to cure. Firstly, a healthy immune system is established, by the removal of immuno-suppressants. It gives the body every chance to recognise a virus, and stimulate the body into an appropriate response. Secondly, a specific homeopathic remedy is used to instruct the body to recognize the virus as foreign.

Not all viruses cause serious illnesses. Even though we think of ‘flu as a serious disease, it is almost always the complications which follow on from ‘flu which cause the problem. In the case of ‘flu, for instance, the virus weakens the mucosal barriers in the airways and, because of the increased mucus production, the bacteria which normally reside there tend to multiply causing a secondary bacterial infection.

The advantage of FCT’s approach is that, not only does it endeavour to suupport the immune system, but it also aims to instruct the body to target the influenza. In addition the body is encouraged to eliminate any excess bacteria which have the potential to cause an infection.

Academic research: