The course of action depends on WHAT the virus is. There is no one size fits all removal process. It's tailored to a specific infection.
A lot also depends on WHERE one posts about malware issues. Malware Removal Logs forum asks for specific logs that are not allowed in other forums here at Bleeping Computer.
Am I Infected helpers have a different set of tools. If those tools do not get rid of the infection you would be directed to Malware Removal Logs and the prep guide. In addition to the tools in the prep guide you might be asked to run other ones.
As for could anything have been done the answer is YES-depending on the infection. Some are so nasty that the best course of action to take would be a clean reinstall of the operating system. Others can be exterminated through the clean up process.
The first step: Deciding whether to post in AII or Malware Removal Logs with a detailed post about your issues.
Edited by Queen-Evie, 23 May 2012 - 06:39 PM.