It is exhausting and painful, but you can get the better of viral fever once it strikes. We explain how.

It seems like a simple enough illness once you’ve recovered from it, but a viral fever can be terrible to deal with once it strikes. It depletes your energy levels completely, and causes high fever that forces you to take to your bed.

There is no known cure for viral fever. It is caused by a viral infection, often brought on by viruses multiplying in the body cells. It is contagious if you accidentally inhale or touch the sneeze or cough droplets of a person infected with it.

It may be confused with malaria or dengue…

The first symptom of viral fever is elevated body temperature, often accompanied by headache and/or body pain. The fever is the body’s automatic response to the infection: some viruses die out when the body temperature rises.

You might lose your appetite and have a painful throat, which makes it difficult to swallow or even eat food. You might even develop a nasty cough and cold.

These initial symptoms are similar to those of malaria and dengue. An experienced doctor can certainly tell the difference, but it is better to undergo a blood test to make sure.

A blood test will also help the doctor see how much viral load is currently present in the body, and treat the illness accordingly.

If you have been diagnosed with viral fever…

  • Go to bed at once. The best cure is to sleep off the illness.
  • Take your doctor’s prescribed course of antibiotics for at least three days. The medication contains the infection and helps the body recover.
  • Eat a diet of fresh fruit and home cooked, hot food. Keep away from tea and coffee, and hydrate the body with room temperature water, and freshly squeezed juice.
  • Viral fever is seldom contagious, but practicing personal hygiene during this time is important. Do not leave your used tissues lying around near your bed or work desk, where others might inadvertently touch them. Keep a box of tissues handy for use instead of coughing or sneezing without covering your nose and mouth.
  • Keep a bottle of hand sanitiser close by, and ‘wash’ your hands clean with it every hour. If you are allowed to wash with running water, then you must do so using antibacterial handwashing soap.
  • Once you are allowed to take a bath or sponge your body, use an antiseptic liquid in the bath water to kill any lurking germs.
  • Wash your bedclothes in a separate laundry load, away from the clothes of the rest of the family. Add a measure of antiseptic liquid in the last spin/wash cycle, so that the clothes are completely sanitised.


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