Advertisement

A viral infection can refer to one of many different conditions. They all have something in common: a virus causes them. Some of the most common viruses include the influenza virus and cold virus, which infect millions of people annually. Viral infections can affect different parts of the body. For this reason, symptoms can vary tremendously and can range from mild to life-threatening. Some of the most common symptoms include digestive and respiratory symptom issues.

Advertisement

Fever

Developing a fever is often the most common symptom of a viral infection. A fever is the body's natural way of responding to a virus: by heating up, it attempts to destroy the infection as well as the virus that caused it. In most cases, fevers are mild to moderate and don't need extra treatment besides pain medication and bed rest. If a fever becomes serious, medical attention may be necessary. A persistent high fever or a fever that doesn't go away after a few days are signs that the infection may be more serious.

fever viral infection
Advertisement

Fatigue

When your body fights a virus, it needs lots of energy to destroy the infection. Therefore, you may experience fatigue as a result. Fatigue means being tired, and having a viral infection can often leave you feeling grouchy and restless. To combat fatigue, get plenty of rest and ensure your body has sufficient amounts of water and food so it can efficiently fight off any infection. It's a good idea to take a few days off from work or school to allow your body to deal with possible infections. In most cases, fatigue improves on its own and doesn't require further medical attention.

fatigue viral infection
Advertisement

Headache

Developing a headache is often one of the first signs of a viral infection. Luckily, in most cases, viral infections aren't too serious and usually go away within a few days. Naturally, it can be hard to deal with an infection, and having a head-pounding headache makes it all the more difficult. It's important to identify when to contact a doctor. If you have symptoms that last for more than seven days or a fever that lasts for more than five days, you should call your doctor as soon as possible. Likewise, any shortness of breath should be considered a warning sign that warrants medical attention.

viral infection symptoms
Advertisement

Vomiting

Viral infections can affect different parts of the body, including the stomach. Other parts of the digestive system may also be affected. That's why many people report symptoms that affect the stomach, including vomiting. Vomiting is usually a reaction to contaminated food, causing the muscles of the stomach to evacuate the contents forcefully. If the virus is due to contaminated foods, you may notice vomiting soon after consumption. If, together with vomiting, you experience a high fever or red spots on the skin, contact a doctor immediately. Moreover, remember to drink plenty of fluids to help treat vomiting.

viral infection signs
Advertisement

Coughing

Viral infections are notorious for the symptoms that they cause that affect the respiratory system. That's why coughing is one of the most common symptoms of many viral infections. As the body fights the virus, it may produce a large quantity of phlegm, causing a cough to appear. Coughs may be dry or wet, depending on the amount of phlegm produced. The throat may also become irritated, causing itching which may, in turn, trigger a cough. To treat this symptom, drink plenty of fluids to keep mucus thin and contact your doctor if your cough gets worse.

viral infection signs and symptoms
Advertisement

Diarrhea

If you become infected with a virus, you may experience diarrhea as your body attempts to remove infected content from your digestive system. This symptom is particularly common for conditions that are caused by contaminated food. If you visit tropical areas, be sure to carry adequate medication in case you suffer from conditions such as malaria, which can cause intense diarrhea. The best way to treat diarrhea is to get plenty of clean drinking water as well as rest. Try not to eat solid foods for a few days, and slowly incorporate them once symptoms improve.

signs of viral infection
Advertisement

Abdominal Pain

Viral infections can be acute or chronic, depending on how long they last. In some cases, viral infections can last for months, and in extreme cases, for a lifetime. In any case, many viral infections cause muscular pain in different parts of the body, including the abdomen. Unfortunately, antibiotics can't help treat viral infections because they only aid in bacterial infections. Moreover, viral infections tend to go away on their own after some time and provided the patient receives the correct treatment. If you suffer from abdominal pain, try taking over the counter pain medication to help treat this symptom.

symptoms of viral infection
Advertisement

Sore Throat

A sore throat is a common complaint among people who have viral infections. Viral infections can cause moderate and even severe diseases, many of which can cause a sore throat. Sometimes an itchy feeling will develop, whereas in other cases there may be more irritation. Over the counter pain medication is the first line of treatment since it helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Try drinking warm tea to help soothe the throat, and consult your doctor for more information on how to correctly treat this condition. If you notice a high fever, or if you experience vomiting, call your doctor as soon as possible.

sore throat viral infection
Advertisement

Difficulty Breathing

You may experience difficulty breathing as a result of a viral infection. When your body becomes infected, you may experience symptoms that affect breathing due to inflammation of the different parts of the lungs. Allergies may also contribute to this difficulty breathing. Moreover, you may notice an urge to cough because the throat becomes irritated. You may, in rare cases, experience a buildup of fluid in the lungs, which may be life-threatening and requires further medical attention. Acute respiratory infections can interfere with breathing and are most likely to affect the vocal cords and the sinuses. Children, elderly, and older adults should be especially wary of such symptoms.

breathing difficulties viral infection
Advertisement

Runny Nose

When your immune system fights off an infection, a runny nose is usually one of the first symptoms you notice. A runny nose occurs because the body produces more mucus as the body attempts to eliminate the virus from the body. Different sinus infections can also cause a runny nose. The common cold is perhaps the condition that is most often associated with a runny nose, and it also affects a large percentage of patients each year. Consume lots of water if you develop a runny nose and ask your pharmacist for over the counter drugs that may help reduce symptoms.

nose viral infection

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.