What is a viral infection?
A virus is a microscopic agent (germ) that lives inside living cells, also known as host cells. Viruses require living cells in order to replicatenside living cells, also known as host cells. Viruses require living cells in order to replicate. There are thousands of viruses, some of which are more prevalent than others. The common cold and the flu, for example, are viruses, as are Ebola and HIV. Viral infections that are minor in healthy people can be quite severe in people with weakened immune systems. Sepsis can be caused by almost any virus.
Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is the body’s life-threatening response to infection or injury. Sepsis, like strokes or heart attacks, is a medical emergency that necessitates prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Sepsis and septic shock can occur as a result of any infection in the body, including pneumonia, influenza, or urinary tract infections. While bacterial infections are the most common cause of sepsis, viruses can also cause it. One-third of all people who develop sepsis die. Many survivors suffer from life-altering conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and fatigue, organ dysfunction (organs that do not function properly), and/or amputations.
What are the different types of viral infections?
Viruses may be described in terms of which parts of your body they infect, how they spread, or the symptoms they cause. Some viruses, such as herpes and adenoviruses, can cause a wide range of illnesses. Viral infections are classified as follows:
- Respiratory infections.
- Digestive system infections.
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Exanthematous (rash-causing) infections.
- Neurological infections.
- Congenital infections.
Infections of the respiratory tract affect the nose, throat, airways, and lungs. Bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia can all be caused by respiratory viruses. Here are some examples:
- Common cold (usually caused by rhinovirus).
- The flu (influenza).
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
- Human metapneumovirus (hMPV).
Viral infections in your digestive system
Viral infections in the digestive system can affect your stomach, intestines, or liver. These are some examples:
- Gastroenteritis, also known as “stomach flu,” can be caused by norovirus, rotavirus, or astrovirus.
- Hepatitis viruses are the root cause of liver disease. These infections frequently persist for an extended period of time (chronic).
Viral hemorrhagic fevers
Hemorrhagic fevers alter the way your blood clots and can weaken your blood vessels, resulting in potentially fatal bleeding. Here are some examples:
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
- Severe dengue.
- Yellow fever.
Sexually transmitted viruses
Sexually transmitted diseases are primarily transmitted through sexual contact, which includes oral, anal, and vaginal sex. Here are some examples:
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)/genital warts.
- Genital herpes (HSV).
- Hepatitis B.
Exanthematous viral infections
Rashes caused by exanthematous viral infections can appear as bumps or blisters on your skin or as blood spots under your skin. They can also cause respiratory or other side effects. Exanthematous infections include the following:
- Rubella (German measles).
- Fifth disease.
Some viruses attack the nerve cells in your body (your brain and spinal cord). These can result in paralysis, swelling of the brain or its covering (encephalitis or meningitis), and other potentially fatal conditions. Here are some examples:
- West Nile virus.
Congenital viral infections
Congenital viral infections are those that occur at birth. They are transferred from a pregnant woman to the fetus during development or during birth. Depending on the virus, this can result in a variety of health problems, such as vision or hearing loss, developmental delays, and neurological conditions. Viruses that have been linked to congenital infections include:
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
- Zika virus.
How does a viral infection get treated?
Treatment for viral infections varies according to the virus and other factors. General treatment aims to alleviate your symptoms so that you can get the rest you need to maintain your strength and recover without complications.
Among the general treatments for viral infections are:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) for fever, body aches, and pain
- Drinking extra fluids
- Getting extra rest and sleep
- Maintaining good nutrition
Other treatments may be required depending on the type of viral infection and the presence of complications. A human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, for example, that causes cervical dysplasia can be treated surgically by removing the abnormal cells on a woman’s cervix.
Because of the risk of serious side effects, children under the age of six should not use cold or cough medications in general. Furthermore, people with viral diseases should avoid using aspirin or aspirin-containing products due to the risk of developing Reye syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition. However, like Primovir USA and Paxzen China, this medication can be used to treat viral infections. Taking aspirin during a viral illness, such as a cold or the flu, has been linked to Reye syndrome.