Does this describe you?

I have a fever of 102 degree that goes up and down every 3-4 hrs. I also have a very irritating cough and a watery nose. I am taking paracetamol and the symptoms subside for 4-6 hrs after taking the medicine. I think I have a viral infection.

How to combat viral fever

For me, viral fever is nasty cold, high fever and a sore throat that later develops in to a dry cough. I have sleepless nights and restless days whenever I have a viral infection. Not to mention the cough that shamelessly remains through out the week. With the onset of monsoon or a drop in the temperature, viral fever monopolizes the schools and the offices. It spreads easily and suddenly everyone seems to be down at a stroke. We have a lot of discomfort once we have an infection. But viral fever is mild and gives no serious headache. With an adequate dosage of anti-pyretic and a cough syrup you can mostly handle the situation yourself. If the high fever persists for a week, with or without additional symptoms you should get medical help. Only a doctor can rule out other possibilities. Viral fever can be caused by different types of viruses. For example, if you fever is without cough then there are chances that you may have Dengue fever. Blood and urine tests may be required to help the diagnosis.

Symptoms which require attention are:

  • High fever of 102 degree F that lasts for days
  • Pain or pressure or heaviness in the chest
  • A feeling that you are about to faint
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sore throat or hoarseness that does go away even after 10 days
  • A cough that lasts for more than 2 weeks. Cough and chest infections may be bacterial needing antibiotics.
  • Nausea and severe vomiting
  • Disoriented feeling or confusion
  • Painful face and forehead.


Antibiotics do not have a role in viral infections. Do not take them unless prescribed by a registered medical practitioner. Since the treatment is mainly symptomatic, the medicines prescribed are intended to lower the temperature, body pains, cold and cough. It may take 3-7 days for the symptoms to subside.

Take care of yourself smartly once you have fever and cold.

  • The golden rule is to take complete rest. Avoid exercises and strenuous work during this time as you are weak and your immunity is being tested.
  • Drinking a lot of fluids will help to loosen mucus and to prevent dehydration. Drink water little by little for optimum benefit. Additionally, take clear soups, fruits juices or warm water often.
  • If you have stuffy nose, use nasal drops to moisten the nose and to loosen the nose.
  • Gargling with salt water can help with sore throat. Throat lozenges can relieve the pain.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking and passive smoking.
  • Avoid taking bath if you have cold and fever. You may sponge your body with tepid water several times a day.

Patients are generally found to be very irritable and weak once they contract viral fever. Food does not interest them in spite of being weak and tired. They may not even get up and walk from the bed freely. It is up to the others to give them tasty appetizing food with palatable juices or fluids. Avoid cold beverages or dairy products at that moment.

It would seem funny if you ask how to avoid Viral infections because you simply cannot. There are no reliable shots or vaccines to keep away viral infections. The wisest thing to do is to keep away from people who have contracted viral fever. Take care during seasonal changes and eat and drink healthy. It is better to avoid eating out in the rainy season. Good personal hygiene is important too.

Now that you know this much about viral infection you can talk to your doctor confidently and ask for further advice.