Viral Fever - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Viral Fever - Overview
Viral Fever cannot be categorized into one single detail. It basically refers to a variety of conditions in which the viral infections are associated with the changes and elevations in the body temperature. Viral fever consists of different conditions which come under the category of viral infections. Some of these are defined and identified clearly by doctors owing to the different signs and symptoms that they exhibit. Some of these viral infections are able to show generalized symptoms while the others tend to affect and target only some specific organs of the body.
The most characteristic symptoms of viral fever are headaches, body aches as well as skin rashes. The attack of this malady is not restricted to any age group or any ethnic group. While some of the viral fever symptoms may be greatly contagious, others are not dangerous and are self healing with the passage of time.
Causes of Viral Fever:
Most of the viral fever infections take place due to the spreading of the infection via aerial media i.e. inhalation of the microbes through air. Not only that, but with the contamination of the food, water or through direct contact with the infected person, the virus spreads from one person to the other. Locally, within the body the viral infection spreads from the blood stream to the lymph channels throughout the body. Not only that, in some of the rarer cases, the infections occurs via sexual contact from the infected person to the other.
The incubation period of the primary infection can vary from one person to the other. In some cases, it could vary from few days to several weeks at length. The appearance of the disease within the body can be the result of the multiplication of the virus. With the passage of time, even though the fever may come down, the infections can keep on multiplying within and result in the perseverance of the infection within the body.
Signs and Symptoms of Viral Infection
Once the virus has entered the body, generally the incubation period i.e. the time taken by the virus to multiply and attain a high level in order to spread the infection continues. After the primary incubation period, comes the prodrome phase. This is accompanied by the fatigue of the general muscles along with malaise of the body. Not only are those, in some of the major cases, the muscle aches known to trigger the onset of fever. The fever too, can vary from low grade to higher grade from time to time. Some of the major symptoms include the inflammation of the pharynx, running of the nose, congestion in the nasal passages, frequent headaches, redness in the eyes, accompanied with cough, muscle as well as joint pains.
The fatigue that happens generally in the body is accompanied by the swelling of the lymph gland of the person. Illness occurring in the body is usually self limited and therefore, the coughing may be persistent for a couple of weeks. In some of the rare cases, this is accompanied along with vomiting, diarrhoea and pneumonia. The initial complication of the disease can be further aggravated with the occurrence of jaundice and arthritis. Since the cause for the occurrence of the disease varies, the symptoms vary as well. For instances, arbovirus, which is known to be a causative agent causes a bleeding tendency in the patients. Due to this reason, there is an increased bleeding from the skin of the patients, causing a change in the internal organs of the person which could be fatal to the person.
Tests and Diagnosis of Viral Fever
The diagnosis as well as the management for viral fever is basically more dependent upon the clinical presentation of the patients and not on the lab investigation. Some of the major signs and symptoms for viral fever are self limited and in such cases lab exploration is much needed. The history of the viral fever in needed along with the major symptoms such as joint pain and severe muscle pain. Skin rashes and swelling in the lymph nodes are some of the other symptoms, which are much needed for the diagnosis of the disease.
Lab investigations for the disease are done in order to rule out the role of the bacteria’s for the occurrence of the disease and point out the confirmation of a viral infection. Not only are those, the blood tests known to show the increase in the white blood cells of the person. Lymphocytes tend to increase in number in case of a viral infection. Also, the ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) does not increase during infections. Doctors tend to use nasal swabs, tissue cultures as well as skin rashes along with the blood samples to diagnose the disease.
Treatment of Viral Fever
The best used treatment option for viral fever include the use of antipyretic along with analgesic drugs. Often, doctors recommend complete bed rest coupled with the intake of adequate amount of fluids in order to treat the disease. Nasal decongestants are often recommended and are beneficial for people suffering from nasal congestion. Antiviral therapy is known to work out in some of the cases. The use of steroids is banned as it results in the occurence of bacterial infections. Antibiotics are only prescribed in case a person is suffering from super infection resulting from the disease.
Some of the major complications arising from the viral infections, such as pneumonia can be checked generally and needs to be treated with caution. With the clearing of the respiratory secretion as well as using different aids such as ventilator assistants is the best remedy for such kind of complications. In most of the cases, viral fever can be treated within a week, though the fatigue arising from it may persist for a couple of weeks.
Prevention of Viral Fever:
Viral Fevers are quite difficult to prevent. Since they tend to occur just as epidemics, therefore, their prevention is totally dependent upon their mode of spreading. Some of the vaccines have been developed that target the respiratory as well as gastrointestinal viruses, leading to the decrease in the chances of a person getting contracted with the virus.
All of the viruses and their sub groups cannot be covered under the effect of a single vaccine. Most of the infections and mild and therefore tend to be self limited.