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Season changes bring viral infections to almost every household. What we need to know is the fact that viral fever is not a disease in itself, rather it is the result of multiple viral infections in the body. Viral fevers are usually characterized by headaches, burning sensation in the eyes, high body temperature, and sometimes accompanied by nausea. Viral fevers are more likely to occur in small children and elderly people who have lower immunity strength in their bodies. Lower immunity makes them more vulnerable to viral infections.
What is the cause of a viral fever?
When the body is affected by viral infections, the immune system of the body tends to fight against that infection, causing viruses, which in turn causes a high fever. The high fever is actually the process of burning off the infection causing viruses. Any part of the body can get infected by these viruses. This could be your intestines, air passages, or lungs. Remember, viral infections are not similar to bacterial infections. People in India often tend to take self-medication for such a fever. However, it is difficult for a common man to understand the actual cause of the fever—as it could be either viral or bacterial fever. Many people will now turn to an online doctor free of cost to deal with such fevers on their own. However, there are some people who take antibiotic drugs to treat high fever accompanied with chills. This could lead to negative side effects to the body. Antibiotics are incapable of treating viral fevers. If taken, they could kill the helpful bacteria of the body, and can cause kidney and liver damage. It is recommended to always consult a physician before taking any antibiotic drugs.
Is a viral infection contagious?
The answer would be yes. Viral infections are highly contagious. It gets transmitted from an infected person to others. The transmission of infections happens through the direct contact of body fluids of an infected person through sneezing, coughing, and yawning—or even by talking to the infected individual. Although some viruses affect the new body within two days, some may take about 21 days to infect the new body.
Factors That Make You More Vulnerable to Viral Fever
Though children and elderly people are naturally more vulnerable to getting infected by viral infections, healthy adults can also get infected easily if any of the following factors occur:
- If you take care of an infected individual.
- If you need to work with infected people.
- If a certain kind of viral fever is prevalent in your surroundings.
- If you are traveling to a place affected by viral fever.
- If you have unprotected sex with the infected person.
- If you have shared needles to take intravenous medication.
Major Symptoms of Viral Infection in Body
More than one body part can be affected by the viral infection, that which could cause the following symptoms in the body:
- Viral infections are usually followed by a high body temperature that may come and go.
- Fatigue, dizziness, and weakness are some of the earlier symptoms of a viral infection in the body.
- Body aches—both muscle and joint pain—can occur with a severe headache and chills.
- Burning sensation in the pharynx, soreness of the throat, and painful tonsils can be followed by a severe cough.
- Burning eyes and running nose are commonly found in viral infections.
- Chest and nasal congestion are also common during viral fever.
- These symptoms can get worse when accompanied by diarrhea, skin rashes, and even nausea.
Can you diagnose a viral infection?
Many other diseases can show similar symptoms in your body, so it is wise not to diagnose a viral infection on your own by considering the above-mentioned symptoms. People will sometimes seek help from an online doctor for free to treat viral infections. Consult your doctor immediately if you feel the listed symptoms. If needed, take a blood test in order to avoid the possibility of any other diseases that may cause any similar symptoms such as typhoid, malaria, dengue, or chikungunya.
Besides, as mentioned earlier, both bacterial and viral infections can induce similar symptoms in your body. Determining the actual cause of a fever could be tricky for common people. Doctors rule out the possibility of bacterial fever by considering the symptoms and your medical history. If they still have confusion, they may ask to carry out a blood test to find out the root of the fever. This is how physicians could determine a cause, and then the mode of treatment.
Treatment of Viral Infection
Like the treatment of fever caused by bacterial infections, there is no antibiotic drug for treating viral fever. Doctors mostly prescribe medicines that relieve the high body temperature and body aches of the infected person. However, doctors may also prescribe antibiotic medicines as well. These antibiotic medications are essential for saving your viral infected body from other infections that can affect you while sick. Remember, antibiotic medicines are not meant for treating a viral fever. Thus, it's necessary that you complete the entire course of antibiotic medicines as prescribed by the physician.
You may feel healthy when you are yet to complete the entire course of antibiotics. But as per the prescription, you should still finish the course of medication. Leaving antibiotic doses midway could cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow in your body, which in the future could prevent the effects of antibiotic drugs in your body.
Medications for Viral Infection Treatment
Antiviral drugs are mostly used for treating viral infections. When it is just about a common viral infection, doctors prefer some of the commonly found over the counter drugs to treat them. Some of the most common medicines used for treating viral fever are Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin IB and Advil).
Treating Viral Infection at Home
Most of the time, viral fevers that are the results of viral infections in your body do not require any specific medication like bacterial infections. Antibiotics are a must for bacterial infections. For viral fevers, however, there is no particular medicine. Even your doctor focuses on treating each of your symptoms of viral infection separately. They just try to relieve the symptoms individually and the rest is done by the immune system of your body.
However, if it is just about viral fever treatment, you can treat yourself at home with the help of online doctor free. Check out the following steps to treat viral fever at home:
- Usually, viral infections can cause high fever in the infected person. Get over the counter medicines like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen to reduce the high body temperature, body aches, and muscle cramps.
- Try taking rest at home. Fatigue and body aches automatically call for complete bed rest. Working forcefully can cause you more discomfort during a viral fever.
- It is often advised that one should take an abundant quantity of fluids while suffering from viral fever. This keeps you body hydrated. Medicines that are used for reducing the fever may cause excessive sweating. This could dehydrate your body. To prevent dehydration, plenty of fluids is an absolute necessity.
- In case your fever comes back with higher intensity, you can try sitting in a tub full of warm water to bring down your body temperature. Besides baths, many people in India also put a cold wet cloth on the forehead to cool down the rising fever.
When do I consult a doctor?
In most of the cases, viral fever can be treated and cured at home. It does not pose any danger to the infected person. The body itself fights against the infection causing viruses. You just need to relieve the symptoms until your immune system triumphs over the viral infection. However, sometimes things can go beyond control. Please consult your physician immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while suffering from viral fever:
- Call your doctor if you have an extremely high fever, as high as 103 degrees. Do not take the risk of treating such a high fever at home. Keep it safe and consult your doctor at the earliest.
- If your baby has the viral fever, do not think of treating it at home. Check for baby’s rectal temperature immediately. If it exceeds 100 degrees, call your doctor immediately. It is wise not to treat a small baby at home.
- Inform your doctor immediately if you have severe headache.
- Do not hesitate to go to your doctor if you feel any difficulty in breathing due to chest and nasal congestion. Also see your doctor in case of chest pain while suffering from viral infection.
- You may need doctor’s advice if you experience severe abdominal pain, nausea, and continuous vomiting during viral fever. Before these symptoms could get worse, seek for your doctor’s opinion.
- Apart from the common symptoms of viral fever, if you notice unusual skin rashes, especially those that spread very quickly, rush to your doctor.
- Any other symptoms that do not occur commonly during viral infection need a doctor’s attention. If you experience confusion, seizures, or feel stiffness of neck, see your doctor immediately. Unusual symptoms may cause other health conditions.
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