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Overview of Viral Fever: Symptoms, causes, types, and treatments

Team AckoNov 25, 2022

Viral Fever, a common occurrence during the rainy season, is generally not considered a serious disease. However, if left undiagnosed, it can lead to several complications. That is why early detection and timely medical attention are essential to cure it. This article shares everything about Viral Fever, including treatment and prevention. Read on to explore.

Viral Fever

Contents

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What is Viral Fever?

Viral Fever is a term that is used for seasonal viral infections. Usually, it affects children and older people because they have low immunity. High body temperature is one of its common signs. Viral infections can occur in air passages, intestines, lungs, etc. Its treatment is usually symptomatic, and there is no specific antiviral medication for it.

Viral Fever symptoms

The signs of Viral Fever are similar to the flu, such as body aches, headache, and fatigue. Other signs include the following.

  • Fever (from 99°F to over 103°F)

  • Chills

  • Runny nose

  • Sweating

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Vomiting

  • Chest congestion

  • Nasal congestion

  • Muscle aches

  • Diarrhoea

  • Burning sensation in eyes

  • Weakness

  • Dehydration

  • Loss of appetite

  • Dizziness

These signs last for a few days only. Also, it is vital to seek medical care if the symptoms become serious over time.

What causes Viral Fever?

Viruses are infectious agents. Your body’s immune system fights these infections, and it leads to sudden shifts in temperature. 

There are some ways by which a virus infects the body, which are discussed below.

1. Ingestion

You can contract an infection if you consume food items contaminated by a virus.

2. Carriers

The most common example is mosquito bites. These insects can carry a virus that will lead to dengue and malaria. Similarly, animal bites can leave you infected, and you may contract rabies.

3. Body fluids exchange

HIV and Hepatitis B may spread through bodily fluids. Also, these viral infections can be sexually transmitted.

4. Inhalation

You can get infected by coming in contact with an infected individual who sneezes or coughs next to you without covering their face.

Types of Viral Fever

There are five types of Viral Fever, which are as follows.

1. Respiratory Viral Fever

In this type of fever, the virus affects the respiratory tract. The common infections that come in this category are flu, polio, viral bronchitis, common cold, measles, Rhinovirus, Laryngitis, Coryza, and Adenovirus infection.

2. Exanthematous Viral Fever

This viral infection causes fever, and it also affects the skin. The infection leads to visible skin eruptions that take much time to get healed. Chickenpox, Roseola, German measles, chikungunya, and smallpox are some examples of this type of Viral Fever.

3. Viral enteritis

In this type of viral infection, your digestive tract gets impacted, which further leads to gastrointestinal Viral Fever (stomach flu). Norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and Adenovirus are some of the infections that belong to this category.

4. Neurologic Viral Fever

This fever affects the central nervous system and leads to neurological illnesses such as encephalitis, HIV, meningitis, and rabies. Sudden seizures, drowsiness, trouble coordinating, and fever are some of the common signs of this type of fever.

5. Hemorrhagic Viral Fever

It is a life-threatening fever in which internal bleeding occurs. Also, the body temperature of the individual increases drastically. Dengue, ebola, and yellow fever fall in this category.

Complications of a Viral Fever

Viral Fever usually subsides within ten days. However, it can lead to several serious complications if left untreated. These complications may include the following.

  • Secondary bacterial infections

  • Dehydration

  • Coma

  • Blood infection

  • Respiratory fever

  • Brain inflammation

  • Kidney and liver failure

  • Blood infections

  • Hallucination

  • Multiple organ failure

  • Pneumonia

  • Laryngitis

These conditions can be fatal if timely treatment is not administered.

How is Viral Fever diagnosed?

The signs of viral infections and bacterial infections are similar. This makes the diagnoses challenging. A doctor will check the signs you have been facing. You will also be asked about your medical history and some other questions to determine the severity of the illness. Your doctor will order the following diagnostic tests as well.

  • Swab tests

  • Blood tests

  • Antibody tests

  • Specific viral antigens test

  • Urine test

The healthcare professional may recommend testing for chikungunya, dengue, and malaria. Imaging tests such as chest X-ray and CT scan can also be advised if the infection is severe.

Treatment of Viral Fever

There is no specific treatment for Viral Fever, as viruses do not respond to antibiotics. However, doctors focus on relieving the symptoms the patients exhibit.

Here is a list of some of the treatment options and home remedies for viral infections.

  • Lukewarm baths: Taking a bath in lukewarm water helps reduce the body temperature.

  • Over-the-counter medications: Medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be taken to relieve fever, pain, and inflammation. Aspirin should not be given to children or teens due to the higher risk of getting serious conditions such as Reye's syndrome.

  • Rest: Taking complete bed rest is vital for the sick individual. 

  • Hydration: High intake of fluids keeps the body hydrated and prevents dehydration. 

  • Warm compress: Applying a warm compress on the forehead eases signs such as headache and congestion.

A fever that continues for more than 3 days should not be taken lightly. Individuals should seek medical attention if their temperature is higher than 104°F (in adults), 102°F (in children), and 100°F (in infants). It is crucial to note that individuals should never self-medicate for such infections. 

How to prevent Viral Fever

Viral Fever spreads quickly from one person to another. So, it becomes imperative to take measures that can help reduce your risk of getting sick. Here are some of the ways you can count on to prevent Viral Fever.

1. Frequent hand washing

Wash your hands often with soap or liquid handwash, especially before you eat. If you are outside of the home and there is no access to soap and water, use a sanitiser. 

2. Avoid close contact with infected people 

Refrain from coming in contact with the sick. If you cannot avoid direct contact, try maintaining a distance from the individual. Caregivers can use masks or gloves when taking care of a sick person. Kids and older people should stay away from getting in touch with the infected, as they are vulnerable to contracting infection due to low immunity.

3. Disinfect contaminated surface

When you have a sick person at home, then the chances of getting infected become higher. This is because the sick person would touch door knobs, utensils, and other necessary items. You can disinfect the surfaces that you think may be contaminated with the virus. 

4. Prevent mosquito bites

Mosquitoes may carry viruses that can cause dengue, chikungunya, etc. So use mosquito nets and mosquito repellents, and wear long-sleeved clothes to prevent mosquito bites.

Apart from these, it is essential to consume warm, healthy, and nutritious food to build immunity. Also, you can receive flu vaccination to prevent getting infected. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here is a rundown of common questions and answers related to Viral Fever.

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What is the ideal temperature of the body?

The ideal temperature of the body is 98.6°F (37°C).

How many days does a fever last?

Most fevers last for three days, which is normal. Recurrent fever may keep coming back for up to 14 days, which is serious and requires medical attention.

What is the body temperature of a person having Viral Fever?

According to the CDC, a person has a fever when the body temperature is 100.4° F (38°C) or greater.

What to eat in Viral Fever?

You can eat leafy greens, boiled eggs, oatmeal, and fruits like apples, grapefruits, and oranges. It is vital to consume easily digestible foods and drink plenty of warm fluids.

Can a viral infection go away itself?

Some viral infections aren't serious, and go away in a few days. If you have weak immunity, you may need medical treatment.

References:

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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