Viral Fever: Symptoms & Treatment
Medikoe Wellness Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Jul 18, 2020
Viral fever is any fever that's caused by an underlying viral illness. Viral fever is an umbrella term for a group of viral infections that affect the body and is characterized by high fever, burning in the eyes, headaches, body aches and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Viral fever is a temporary increase in body temperature, often due to an illness. Having a fever is a sign that something out of the ordinary is going on in your body. Viral fever refers to a broad spectrum of conditions where viral infections are associated with elevation of body temperature.
In medical terms, any fever caused as a result of viral infection is a viral fever. Viruses are tiny germs that spread easily from person to person. When you contract a viral condition, such as a cold or flu, your immune system responds by going into overdrive. Part of this response often involves raising your body’s temperature to make it less hospitable to the virus and other germs. Viral fever is a higher-than-average body temperature that a virus causes.
Often, a person will experience symptoms that may include a runny nose, coughing, nausea, fatigue, and body aches. While not every person experiences a fever when they have a virus, a fever can be a sign that the body is trying to fight off the infection. It is transmitted from one person to another through contact with the infected person’s bodily fluids. When the infected person yawns, sneezes, coughs, or even talks, tiny sprays of fluids are ejected from their bodies which may enter your system if you are close by. Some severe strains of viral fever which cause haemorrhaging are spread by mosquitoes, tick bites, or by coming into contact with an infected person’s blood or semen. It can take up to 21 days for some strains of viral fever to develop after the initial exposure to the virus.
If you come down with a fever, which is < 103 F/40 C, and it shows no signs of abating, it will be wise to consult your family doctor or visit a general practitioner and get yourself checked. Most people have a body temperature of about 98.6°F (37°C). Anything a degree above this is considered a fever. A viral fever makes your body much warmer than usual. This causes your body to sweat to cool down. But this leads to fluid loss, which can cause dehydration. Try to drink as much as you can when you have a viral fever to replenish lost fluids. It doesn’t have to be just water, either. Any of the following can provide hydration such as juice, sports drinks, broths, soups, and decaffeinated tea.
Symptoms of viral fever
These symptoms usually only last for a few days at most. If you have viral fever, you might have some of these general symptoms:
- Muscles ache & pain
- A feeling of weakness
- Loss of appetite
Treatment of Viral Fever
Many people tend to self-medicate, sometimes even by taking antibiotics, when they have an intermittent high fever with chills, which is a bad idea. Antibiotics cannot kill viruses. They kill harmful bacteria. Antibiotics, if taken unnecessarily can affect your stomach lining, kill the good gut bacteria, cause acidity and damage your liver and kidneys. In most cases, viral fevers don’t require any specific treatment. Unlike bacterial infections, they don’t respond to antibiotics. Instead, treatment usually focuses on providing relief from your symptoms.
Common treatment methods include:
Taking over-the-counter fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce fever and its symptoms
resting as much as possible
drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and replenish fluids lost while sweating
taking antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu), when applicable
sitting in a lukewarm bath to bring your body temperature down.
Viral fever in kids can be dangerous. A high fever can be more dangerous for a young child than an adult. For children 2 and older, call the doctor if they have a fever that repeatedly rises above 104°F (40°C). Also, seek medical advice if your child has a fever. Viral fever is common among children and older people as their immunity is lower. Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years might experience febrile seizures. About a third of the children who have one febrile seizure will have another one, most commonly within the next 12 months. Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years might experience febrile seizures. About a third of the children who have one febrile seizure will have another one, most commonly within the next 12 months. There's probably no cause for alarm if your child has a fever but is responsive — making eye contact with you and responding to your facial expressions and your voice — and is drinking fluids and playing.
Call your child's doctor if your child:
Is listless or irritable, vomits repeatedly, has a severe headache or stomach ache, or has any other symptoms causing significant discomfort.
Has a fever after being left in a hot car. Seek medical care immediately.
Has a fever that lasts longer than three days.
Appears listless and has poor eye contact with you.
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