Viral fever is an umbrella name for illness and weakness caused by viruses that can be airborne or waterborne. They cause due to exposure to different kinds of viruses.
In simple words, any fever which usually lasts for 5-7 days is viral fever, if not proved otherwise.
The duration of viral fever is a minimum of 3-4 days, and maximum it can be 9-10 days, depending upon age, health, and other body conditions.
One can diagnose viral fever through its symptoms, body temperature, blood test, and urine test.
The average human body temperature is around 98.6°F, and any temperature above this is considered a fever.
It is advised to see a doctor if a fever lasts for more than three days and not responding to medications. If fever ranges between 102°F to 104°F, it can be risky then.
Symptoms of Viral Fever
Some of the common symptoms of viral fever are given below :
· High fever
· Body pain
· Muscle aches
· Burning sensation
· Loss of appetite
· Runny nose
· Chest and Nasal congestion
· Sore throat
· Joint pain
· Cold and cough
· Skin rash
Causes of Viral Fever
1. When someone cough or sneezes around you, if they have a cough, cold or viral infection, then possibilities are you may catch disease too if your immune system is weak.
2. If any animal or insect bite, scratch, or sting you, then you can develop an infection because they often carry different types of viruses with them. Two examples that demonstrate the same are rabies and dengue fever.
3. You can get a viral infection from some foods or drink which you ate or drank. They can be virally-infected, which can also cause viral fever. Enteroviruses and norovirus are two common examples of food-borne viral contaminations.
4. If you happen to step or breathe in a puddle near a rat’s infected urine or excreta, then certain strains of viral fever can enter inside your body.
5. If someone has a viral infection and exchange your blood with them, you can also catch the viral infection. For example – if he/she has HIV or Hepatitis B.
Home remedies for Viral Fever
1. Holy basil syrup
Holy basil has germicidal, antibacterial, antibiotic, and fungicidal properties. To make the remedy:
- Extract juice from one inch of ginger and boil in one glass of water in a boiling pot.
- Add some crushed holy basil leaves and two tablespoons of honey.
- Simmer above the mixture for 30 seconds, then turn off the flame.
- Have this syrup twice a day for better results.
2. Tulsi kadha
Tulsi is an age-old remedy that is good for the entire body system.
To make the kadha, in a bowl of water, add a handful of holy basil leaves, little jaggery, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper powder, one inch crushed ginger piece, a handful of mint leaves, and a few drop of lemon. Bring this mixture to a boil and drink it piping hot.
3. Inknut/ Karrakkaya/ Haritaki
Haritaki is a seed used in making ayurvedic medicines. Crush this seed and keep small pieces in your mouth for some time. The saliva will act with medicinal properties in the seed and give relief to your throat. Spit it off once the seed becomes soft/or when your throat finds comfort.
4. Lemon honey tea
Boil some water with honey, tea leaves, holy basil leaves, and sugar (optional) for 2 minutes. Strain the solution in a cup and squeeze half lemon into it. Drink this twice a day for healthy recovery.
5. Honey and ginger
You can have honey because it has antioxidants properties that can kill the bacteria inside your body. Ginger contains analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidants properties.
So to get instant relief from viral fever, symptoms have dry ginger and honey.
In a cup of boiling water and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder with two cardamom pods. Simmer it for 5 minutes. Then strain the water and drink it 2-3 times a day to see any result.
It is an excellent remedy because it is a natural antibiotic that can soothe a sore throat and treat cold and cough.
Garlic is considered as the best home remedy for cold and fever. Garlic possesses antibacterial and anti-fungal properties due to a compound named allicin. Crush 2 cloves of garlic then add two tablespoons of mustard oil. In low heat warm up the mixture for a few minutes. Apply this mixture to the foot soles. Keep it overnight and wash it off in the morning.
8. Coriander tea
It contains phytonutrients and essential vitamins that are very effective in boosting the immune system. The seeds are also known to have volatile oils and antibiotics compounds which help to treat viral infection.
To make the coriander tea:
- Take some coriander seeds and boil it in a boiling pot with one glass of water.
- Add a little milk and one tablespoon of honey to it.
- Boil for 5 minutes and have it when cool down.
- Drink it twice a day until viral fever reduces.
9. Tulsi powder and ginger powder
Ginger powder antioxidant properties help to cure fever.
Take one teaspoon of pepper powder, one teaspoon of tulsi powder, one tablespoon of ginger powder, and mix it in a bowl. Take two glass of water in a boiling pot and add the mixture with a little sugar. Boil till the water becomes half of the whole. Drink this twice a day.
10. Green Tea
Green tea is the best remedy for viral fever. It helps to reduce symptoms of viral fever.
To make the green tea:
- Boil one cup of water.
- Add ginger, mint, cinnamon, and tulsi then boil.
- Add a pinch of turmeric and one tablespoon green tea leaves.
Boil for 1 minute then strains the solution. Have this green tea 2-3 times a day.
Treatment of Viral Fever
1. You need to complete bed rest if you have a viral fever. It would help if you had enough fluids not to get dehydrated because fever can touch anything up to 103°F or even 104°F. If that happens, you tend to get dehydration, and because you are so unwell, you do not eat properly so you can get acidity.
2. If you cough, you should treat that with some cough suppressants, and if you have a cold, then treat it with an antihistamine or something that settles it down.
3. If you feel any infection, then normally do a blood test on the 3rd or 4th day of fever. If your counts are high, like if your TLC is high, you know there is an infection, and you need an antibiotic.
4. Avoid taking aspirin/disprin. Instead, take paracetamol; it does not thin blood. Sometimes what happens in viral fever is that platelet counts are low, and it can become a daily fever because that after all, a kind of fever and in this, if you take disprin/Asprin, blood thins and start bleeding, so that is a little scary.
5. Visit the doctor if the fever is not subsiding. Do not self medicate; it can be dangerous. Follow only prescribed medicines by the doctor and not leave medication incomplete; otherwise, a fever will come back again.
Complications of Viral Fever
If not treated on time, some complications can occur, like :
3. Kidney/Liver failure
5. Multi-organ failure
Preventions for Viral Fever
Some common preventions you should take during viral fever are given below :
1. Have a balanced diet.
2. Eat immunity booster foods.
3. Do regular exercise.
4. Drink lots of water.
5. Inhale the fresh air and take good sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are the best antibiotics for viral fever?
Acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), ibuprofen (Advil®), naproxen (Naprosyn®), and famciclovir (Famvir) are some best antibiotics effective against viral fever.
Some drugs used to treat viral infection are Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB others) and acetaminophen(Tylenolothers).
2. What is the fastest way to get rid of a viral infection?
Take complete bed rest, drink enough water, have hot beverages, eat a spoonful of honey daily, gargle with salt water, and take over the counter medicines.
These are the fastest ways to get rid of a viral infection.
3. How do you tell if it is bacterial or viral?
Symptoms of bacterial infection and viral infection are very similar to fever, cough, cold, aches, sore throat, etc., but they are two different infections that require further treatment.
But it is a bacterial infection if symptoms last more than ten days; if you have shortness of breath, fever is recurring, and mucus is excessive green or yellow.
4. How do you sleep with a blocked nose?
If you have a blocked nose, sleep in a cool and dark bedroom and use a humidifier. Apply methol chest rub or apply a nasal strip. You can take an antihistamine also.
5. What position should I sleep in when sick?
The best position to sleep in when sick is sleeping on the side because sleeping on the back can make congestion even worse. You can also sleep at a slight angle too, by propping your pillow.
Viral fever is a common and seasonal fever, which happens mostly in summer and rainy season. So there is nothing to worry about. Just take your medications on time, try given home remedies, and follow given prevention, your viral fever will recover soon.