Read all about Viral infection

On this page you can read everything about viral infection. If you want to find out what your symptoms mean, or what a doctor would think of. Do the symptomcheck

What is viral infection?

A viral infection is a disease that can be caused by different kinds of viruses, of which the influenza-virus is best known. A viral infection can be in different places in the body, some viruses are mainly in the intestine, while others prefer the lungs and airways. With a viral infection you usually have a fever, but other complaints can range from abdominal pain and diarrhea to coughing and shortness of breath.

What are symptoms of viral infection?

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Depending on the virus
    • Coughing
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Sore throat

Is viral infection serious and should I see a doctor?

Everyone has a flu or a bad cold once in a while, so a viral infection usually isn’t serious. Of course it can be very bothersome and unfortunately there isn’t any properly effective medication to cure viral infection, antibiotics aren’t effective either, because those focus on bacteria, not viruses. Though a viral infection usually isn’t serious, know when to see a doctor.

Contact a doctor:

  • Complaints lasting more than 7 days
  • Fever longer than 5 days
  • When you become short of breath

Immediately contact a doctor:

  • With a fever over 106.7 degrees Fahrenheit
  • With new red spots or a new red rash on the skin
  • When it hurts to put your chin to your chest, while turning your head doesn’t hurt
  • The symptoms severely worsen

What can I do about viral infection?

  • Rest
  • Hydrate
  • Eat light foods (fruit, toast etc.)
  • Prevent infecting others:
    • Wash your hands regularly
    • Don’t leave used tissues and hankerchiefs lying around
    • Don’t share cups, plates, cutlery

How does viral infection affect my body?

A viral infection is a common name for several kinds of diseases caused by viruses. What these diseases have in common, aside from viruses, is symptoms like fever and fatigue, which makes you feel miserable.

There are different kinds of viruses; gastro-intestinal-viruses and viruses of the airways are the most important viruses in this case, because they most often cause fever and fatigue. Other viruses cause more local symptoms, like laryngitis, cold sores and shingles.

Antibiotics don’t help when you have a viral infection and a doctor usually shouldn’t prescribe an antibiotic, because only a small percentage of people with general complaints like fever and fatigue have a bacterial infection. Doctors also shouldn’t prescribe antibiotics ‘just to be sure’, because bacteria can get used to the antibiotics and become resistant, so when they’re really needed, there’s a chance they won’t be effective anymore.

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