What are the symptoms of viral diseases?

Symptoms of viral diseases vary depending on the specific type of virus causing infection, the area of the body that is infected, the age and health history of the patient, and other factors. The symptoms of viral diseases can affect almost any area of the body or body system. Symptoms of viral diseases can include:

  • Flu-like symptoms (fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, aches and pains)

  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting

  • Irritability

  • Malaise (general ill feeling)

  • Rash

  • Sneezing

  • Stuffy nose, nasal congestion, runny nose, or postnasal drip

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Swollen tonsils

  • Unexplained weight loss

In infants, signs of a viral disease can also include:

  • Bulging of the soft spot on the top of the head

  • Difficulty with feeding

  • Excessive crying or fussiness

  • Excessive sleepiness

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, viral diseases can result in serious complications, such as dehydration or pneumonia. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of the following symptoms:

  • Change in alertness or level of consciousness

  • Chest pain

  • Deep, wet chest cough that produces yellow, green or brownish phlegm

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • Lethargy or unresponsiveness

  • Seizure

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or difficulty breathing

  • Stiff neck

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)


What are viral diseases?

Viral diseases are extremely widespread infections caused by viruses, a type of microorganism. There are many types of viruses that cause a wide variety of viral diseases. The most common type of viral disease is the common cold, which is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat). Other common viral diseases include:

  • Chickenpox
    Read more about viral diseasesintroduction


What causes viral diseases?

Viral infections occur when a virus enters the body and invades the inside of the body’s cells in order to reproduce. If the body’s immune system is unable to fight off the virus, it multiplies and spreads to other cells, repeating the process and leading to a widespread infection.

Types of viruses

There are many types of viruses that cause a wide variety of viral infec... Read more about viral diseasescauses


How are viral diseases treated?

Treatment of viral infections varies depending on the specific virus and other factors. General treatment measures are aimed at relieving your symptoms so that you can get the rest you need to keep up your strength and recover without developing complications.

General treatments for viral infections include:

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 11, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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