Viral Fever: Check Out the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

The increase in temperature alongside a runny nose or bouts of a cough as soon as the weather changes are extremely common in India. If it lasts for more than a couple of days, chances are that you have a viral fever. Read on to know everything about viral fever, its symptoms, causes, treatment, and whether it is covered by health insurance.

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    What is Viral Fever?

    Viral fever is a fever caused due to a virus or an underlying viral illness. When the temperature of your body is above normal i.e. 98.6°F (37°C), it is diagnosed as a fever. Fever occurs as a reaction to your body fighting off a viral or bacterial infection. Simply put, when a viral infection is a reason behind your fever, it is considered a viral fever.

    Viral fevers are most common during the monsoons and can be either of low-grade or high-grade. While viral infections like the common cold cause a low-grade fever, other viral infections like dengue lead to a very high fever. Usually, viral fever lasts from a minimum of 4-5 days and a maximum of 14 days.

    Although viral fever is not considered a major illness, it may be an indication of an underlying viral infection. Ignoring the fever may lead to severe health complications. Therefore, a doctor’s visit is recommended if you have a fever persistently for 2-3 days.

    Symptoms of Viral Fever

    Viral fever may be accompanied by one or more symptoms. Take a look at some of the most common symptoms of viral fever:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Headache
    • Runny nose or nasal congestion
    • Sore throat
    • Weakness
    • Dehydration
    • Loss of appetite
    • Dizziness
    • Vomiting/nausea
    • Muscle/joint pain
    • Diarrhoea
    • Sweating
    • Burning of eyes or redness
    • Skin rashes
    • Face swelling

    In case any of the symptoms occur, your doctor may ask you to get a blood test done to rule out the possibility of a bacterial infection. Once the bacterial infection has been ruled out, the doctor will try to determine the cause of your viral fever before starting the treatment.

    Causes of Viral Fever

    Broadly, viral fever is caused by a virus that has entered your body and infected the cells. The fever is the body’s way to make your body inhabitable for the virus by increasing the temperature. To understand the viral fever causes, you must know how a virus may enter your body. Here are some of the things that may cause viral fever:

    • Close Contact– Viral fever may be caused by coming in close contact with a person infected with the virus. The infected person may have symptoms or may just be a carrier without any symptoms.
    • Inhaling – This fever can be caused by inhaling the virus from the air while breathing. In case an infected person sneezes or coughs near you, droplets containing the virus may float in the air, which you may end up inhaling.  
    • Sharing Food/Drinks – In case you eat the same food that has been consumed by a person infected with a virus, you are likely to get a viral fever. This is because the saliva of the infected person containing the virus will enter your body with food.
    • Bites –Another common cause of viral fever are mosquito or insect bites. In case you get bit by a mosquito or insect carrying a virus, you may end up with viral fever. Consuming food contaminated by insects and rodents may also lead to fever.
    • Contaminated Water –Consuming water contaminated with a virus can lead to viral fever, especially among children.
    • Bodily Fluids – Viral fever can also be caused if you come in close contact with the bodily fluids of a person infected with a virus.

    Treatment of Viral Fever

    Viral fevers do not have a set treatment. Unlike bacterial infections, viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, doctors usually treat you for the symptoms. The good thing is that a mild viral fever may go on its own. But in case of high-grade fever, you may be given medicines to control the symptoms. Here are some of the most common viral fever treatments based on the symptoms:

    • Medicines – The doctors may prescribe over-the-counter medicines to treat symptoms like high temperature, cough, cold, diarrhoea, etc.
    • Fluid Intake– You may be advised to drink lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated. ORS may also be advised to maintain the electrolyte balance in the body.
    • Lukewarm Bath– A lukewarm bath may be advised to bring down the high temperature.
    • Resting– The doctor may advise you to rest as much as possible to give your body enough time to heal.

    Is Viral Fever Covered by Health Insurance?

    Yes. All health insurance plans in India cover the treatment cost of viral fever. Any medical illness or complication arising out of the viral fever will also be covered based on the policy terms and conditions.

    With the help of a health insurance policy, you can avail coverage for the medical expenses incurred on the OPD consultations, hospitalization, medicines, day care procedures, diagnostic tests, ambulance charges, etc. depending on the opted plan.

    However, the coverage will not be available from day 1 of the policy. This is because all health insurance plans come with an initial waiting period of 30 days. As soon as your waiting period is over, you can raise a claim to get the treatment cost of viral fever covered under your mediclaim policy.

    Useful Tips to Prevent Viral Fever

    Here are some useful tips to prevent viral fever:

    • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
    • Sanitize your hands if washing them is not an option
    • Avoid touching your face frequently
    • Eat warm food as viruses grow in cold temperature
    • Avoid sharing food with someone ill
    • Use mosquito repellents or wear full sleeves clothes to avoid a mosquito bite
    • Eat healthy food to boost your immunity
    • Get vaccinated against the flu

    In a Nutshell

    Viral fever tends to spread during seasonal change and mostly during the monsoon season. In case you suffer from any symptoms of viral fever, you must monitor your health and see a doctor if they exist for more than a couple of days.

    Make sure you understand the viral fever causes and take precautions against the virus that causes fever for 5 days. Besides, if you have a health insurance policy, you do not have to worry about paying for the treatment cost of the viral fever.

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