Viral fever refers to a group of illnesses that are caused by different families of viruses. An individual affected by a pathogen witnesses a high-grade fever. Viral fever becomes more prevalent during the monsoon season and is commonly seen among children and people in higher age groups due to their low immunity. It is not an illness or a disease but an indication of an underlying viral infection.
Dismissing a fever is not advisable, as it is important to go for a proper diagnosis and treating it at an early stage. Let us take a look at the types of viral fever, how it is transmitted, diagnosed and the possible treatment available.
What causes viral fever?
An infection caused by a virus is called a viral fever. Viruses are small microscopic pathogens that travel quickly from one individual to another. These pathogens invade and multiply throughout the body's cells. A fever is the body's defence mechanism against a virus.
What are the symptoms of viral fever?
The symptoms associated with viral fever can vary depending on the specific viral infection and its severity. Some of the common indicators include:
Most of these symptoms vary from person to person depending on factors like age, gender and lifestyle choices.
How is viral fever transmitted?
Viruses are typically transmitted through:
Inhaling airborne droplets:
If an individual inhales the droplets released by an infected individual through coughing, talking, or sneezing, it can lead to an infection.
Consumption of contaminated food:
Eating contaminated food items can increase the risk of infection.
During the monsoon season, mosquitoes can contribute to the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue. Mosquito bites can also contribute to viral fevers.
Body fluids exchange:
The transfer of bodily fluids by blood transfusion or a needle from an infected person can spread the disease to a healthy person.
How is viral fever diagnosed?
Both viral and bacterial infections cause similar symptoms. To diagnose a potential viral fever, a doctor will ask questions about the patient’s medical history, symptoms and potentially collecting samples for bacterial testing. To identify a particular virus, the healthcare provider may swab your nose or throat or perform a blood test.
Types of viral fever
There are different types of viral fevers as classified herewith:
Respiratory viral fever: It affects the upper or lower part of the respiratory tract, causing conditions like common cold, flu, rhinovirus, viral bronchitis, laryngitis, measles, COVID-19, etc.
Exanthemata’s viral fever: Apart from causing fever, it affects the skin, causing rashes and skin eruptions. Some examples include chickenpox, measles, roseola and rubella.
Viral enteritis: This category of viral infection affects the digestive tract and is also known as stomach flu. Common gastrointestinal viral fever conditions are rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus and astrovirus.
Apart from the above, haemorrhagic viral fever and neurologic viral fever are two other common types of viral infections.
It's important to note that viral infections themselves are resistant to antibiotic treatment. The treatment for viral fever will largely depend on the underlying cause, the degree of the fever, and other symptoms.