Viral fever is any fever that arises from a viral infection. Viruses are tiny germs that spread quickly from person to person. When you come down with a viral condition, like a cold or the flu, your immune system responds in overdrive. Part of this response often raises your body temperature to make it less favourable for viruses and other germs.
The average body temperature for most people is about 37°C (98.6°F). A degree or more above this is considered a fever.
Unlike bacterial infections, viral impurities do not respond to antibiotics; most have to let them go. Depending on the type of infection, this can take anywhere from a few days to a week or more.
As the virus runs its course, there are several things you can do to help manage your symptoms. Read on to know more.
What are the Symptoms of Viral Fever?
Viral fever can range from 99°F to over 103°F (39°C), depending on the underlying virus.
If you have a viral fever, you may have some of these common symptoms:
- shaking chills
- muscle aches and pains
- feeling weak
- loss of appetite
These symptoms mostly only last a few days.
What Causes a Viral Fever?
An infection with the virus causes a viral fever. Viruses are tiny infectious agents that infect and grow inside your body’s cells, and fever is your body’s way of fighting a virus. Many viruses are sensitive to temperature changes, so a sudden rise in body temperature makes you less virus-friendly.
There are many ways you can get infected with the virus, including:
Take a breath: If a person with a viral infection sneezes or coughs near you, they may breathe in droplets that contain the virus. Examples of viral respiratory infections include the flu or the common cold.
Ingestion: Intake of Food and drink can contaminate these viruses. If you eat them, you can get an infection. Examples of viral infections by ingestion include norovirus and enterovirus.
Bites: Bites from insects and other animals can carry the virus. If it is itchy, you may have an infection. Examples of viral infections caused by tastes include dengue fever and rabies.
Body fluids: Sharing bodily fluids with someone with a viral infection can spread the disease. Examples of this kind of viral infection include hepatitis B and HIV.
How is Viral Fever Diagnosed?
Both viral and bacterial infections regularly cause similar symptoms. A doctor usually starts by ruling out a bacterial illness to diagnose a viral fever. You can also do this by seeing your signs and medical history and taking samples of the bacteria.
If you take an aching throat, for example, you can use a swab on your throat to get rid of the bacteria that cause strep throat. If the sample is harmful, you may have a viral infection.
You may also take a blood sample or other body fluids to look for specific markers that may show a viral infection, such as your white blood cell count.
How is a Viral Fever Treated?
In most cases, viral fever does not require any specific treatment. Distinct bacterial infections do not respond to antibiotics.
Instead, treatment usually focuses on releasing your symptoms. Standard treatment methods include:
Take an over-the-counter fever reductant, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce fever and its symptoms.
- Rest as much as you can
- Drink fluids amply to stay hydrated and replace fluids lost through sweating.
- Take antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu), when needed.
- Take a warm bath to lower your body temperature.
Viral fever is usually nothing to worry about. Most viruses resolve independently in children and adults and are part of the healing process. But if you notice unusual symptoms or the fever doesn’t go away after a day or more, it’s best to call your doctor.
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