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Viral fever – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, August 01, 2018 by

Viral fever is not a disease in itself; rather, it a symptom of an underlying viral infection. In particular, most cases of fevers in adults are caused by viral infections. It is also accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, coughs, hoarseness, and muscle aches. Aside from a fever, viral infections can also lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and even an upset stomach.

Viral fevers will improve over time. People with a viral fever would do well not to take antibiotics as this will not improve the condition. If the condition is accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting, the patient is encouraged to drink fluids to replace electrolytes. For the most part, viral fevers clear up after one or two weeks.

However, there are cases where viral fever is a symptom of a more sinister condition. For the elderly, viral fevers can sometimes indicate the presence of influenza, a major cause of death in this age group.

Known risk factors and symptoms of viral fever

Viral infections (of which viral fevers are part of) are normally transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated water or food or by direct contact with the virus. The infection then spreads locally, after which it will enter the bloodstream and lymph channels. In some cases, this can be passed during sexual intercourse or direct inoculation.

In severe viral infections, the duration of the illness can be anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Accompanying symptoms of viral fever include:

  • Intermittent fever and chills
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Pain in the joint and muscles – in some cases, including the tonsils
  • Inflammation of the pharynx
  • A runny nose
  • Congestion in the nasal and chest areas
  • A sore throat
  • Coughing
  • A burning sensation in the eyes
  • Skin rash
  • Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting

Body systems affected by viral fever

For the most part, viral fevers are self-limiting and clear after a week. However, more serious infections can result in complications including:

  • Dehydration
  • Delirium and hallucinations
  • Shock
  • Dysfunction in the nervous system
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Multi-organ failure – includes the kidney and liver
  • Respiratory fever
  • Blood infection (sepsis)

If the fever is caused by certain viruses (e.g., arbovirus), bleeding from the skin, internal organs, and orifices may occur. These can be fatal if not addressed in a timely manner.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent viral fever

Here are some home remedies to naturally treat viral fevers:

  • Coriander tea – It helps boost the immune system and is a potent source of phytonutrients. Boil seeds in water, strain, and add milk.
  • Dill seeds – These help regulate body temperature and contains potent antimicrobial properties.
  • Tulsi leaves – Boiling tulsi leaves in water and cloves, then drinking the decoction unlocks its immunity boosting properties.
  • Rice starch – Aside from being a source of hydration during illness, it is a diuretic that helps flush viruses away.
  • Dry ginger – Consuming ginger and honey will relieve the discomfort felt during a fever.
  • Fenugreek – Soaking fenugreek seeds in water and drinking the solution will help reduce the fever and other symptoms.

Treatments, management options for viral fever

Depending on the infection, the accompanying fever may last between a few days to a couple of weeks. The virus is infectious as long as a patient has a fever. In particular, mononucleosis, a severe viral infection, may last longer.

To prevent viral fever, the following steps are recommended:

  • Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water to stay hydrated
  • Regular sleep for seven to eight hours
  • Adequate sunlight exposure for vitamin D
  • Daily exercise, as well as 40 minutes of brisk walking

Where to learn more


Viral fever is a symptom of an underlying viral infection.

Viral fever is accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, coughs, hoarseness, and muscle aches.

Viral fever can also lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and even an upset stomach.

Viral fevers clear up after one or two weeks.

Sources include:


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