A viral infection is caused by a small infectious organism called the virus. Viruses are generally passed on by contact with an infected person or infected objects. Viral microbes also live on infected surfaces for up to 48 hours and contact with the surfaces could lead to a viral infection and fever.
The most common route to a viral infection is by coming in contact with an infected person. When the person coughs or sneezes, the virus is passed through tiny droplets of moisture that infect the surrounding air which is inhaled by people in the vicinity. Other viruses may be contracted by closer contact such as sexual intercourse with an infected person.
Most viral infections have a gestation period during which time the infected person is infectious for several days before symptoms begin to appear. However, these follow no hard and fast rules and will depend on the characteristics of the particular virus in question. In fact this gives rise to a potentially dangerous situation when considering viruses like chickenpox, measles, mumps to name but a few. In a place like a school, for instance, where children are in close proximity, the infection could have spread considerably before the first symptoms appear.
Typically, symptoms such as cough, cold, running nose, fever, irritability, joint and muscle pain are all ascribed to viral fever. Viral infections are generally accorded the same medical treatment without identifying the specific virus that is the cause.
How long does fever last in viral infections? In the normal course, the fever can last anywhere from three to seven days.
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