Doctor’s Rx For Treating Viral Fever Symptoms

Viral fever is a communicable illness that occurs during the monsoon and affects kids and older people the most. Let’s find out some common signs of viral fever and what remedies a noted pulmonologist recommends.

21 Mar 2022

Viral fever is a rise in body temperature caused due to viral infections. These infections occur due to pathogens (a microorganism that can cause disease) that cause the common cold or flu.


There are many types of viral fever, such as Lassa fever, Ebola, dengue, yellow fever, and Chikungunya. Not every infection causes a fever, but if someone gets fever, this signifies that the body is combating the virus, says a 2016 research in Intractable and Rare Diseases Research. Viral fever is a contagious disease and spreads easily in those who have weaker immunity. We spoke to renowned Dr. M.S. Kanwar, Senior Consultant and Advisor Dept of Pulmonary and Critical care, at Apollo hospital in New Delhi on causes and treatment of viral fever, read more below.


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How is a viral fever caused?

The viral fever spreads from one infectious person to another through body fluids such as mucus through coughing or sneezing and saliva by talking or yawning. Also, consuming virus-contaminated food or drinks can cause viral fever. According to a 2016 study issued in Fenner and White’s Medical Virology, viruses need a living cell to survive, and their nature to replicate depends upon the level of transmission. When the pathogen has access to a body, it takes 16 hours to 48 hours for the virus to completely take over and cause a fever.


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Symptoms of viral fever

Symptoms in the body represent the underlying cause, like infection due to pathogens. Some apparent symptoms of viral fever are shivering, sweating, headache, dehydration, weakness, loss of appetite, body aches, fatigue, sometimes diarrhoea, even vomiting in children. According to Dr. Kanwar, many viral fevers like Dengue and Chikungunya can cause nasal, sinus, and throat congestion as well. A systematic review in 2006 published in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases says that it takes a few hours to 7 days to develop an infection. But, in some cases, it can take up to 21 days to reveal the strain.


Diagnose of viral fever

To diagnose a viral fever, consult a doctor to undertake blood tests. Dr. Kanwar suggests IgG and IgM serological tests to prove a diagnosis of viral fevers such as Dengue or Chikungunya. IgG and IgM are antibodies present in blood that fights bacterial and viral infections The serological tests are done by taking blood samples to determine the types and levels of antibodies in the blood.


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Remedies of viral fever

Treatment of viral fever includes methods to relieve pain and symptoms like taking rest as much as possible. During fever, the body becomes weak, and relaxing can help regain strength quickly.


Relying on a fluid diet is a good way to replenish lost water due to dehydration. A 2020 study by the Centres For Disease Control and Prevention says an average person should consume 2-3 litres of water to stay hydrated. Drinking a cup of tea with ginger, turmeric and honey also helps.


According to Dr. Kanwar, if the origin of viral fever is confirmed, then there is no role of antibiotics as they do not respond to the illness. However, one can use paracetamol tablets if fever exceeds 100F.




1. What are tests for viral fever?

A: After assessing medical history and symptoms, the doctor might suggest blood, saliva and urine tests to rule out possibilities for malaria, dengue, or typhoid.


2. How long does the viral fever last?

A: The duration of fever usually lasts for 3-5 days. But, some viruses might take up to two weeks to subside.


3. What are the different types of viral fever?

A: Viral fever depends upon the infected organ-like, respiratory fever, gastrointestinal, exanthematous(skin rash), hemorrhagic, and neurologic viral fever.


4. Can I take antibiotics for viral fever?

A: Antibiotics are effective in bacterial infections, not viral. If fever is above 100F, then take a paracetamol tablet.



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