Irving Primary Care

4 Types of Viral Infections and What You Can Do About Them

Viral infections are responsible for several diseases, some of which can be fatal. Viruses are infectious agents that survive and reproduce by attaching to a host cell. Most viruses are responsible for causing a number of diseases in living things. However, some viruses such as bacteriophages can be useful. In this article, we are going to discuss common viral infections and what you can do about them.

The Flu

The flu is one of the most common viral infections in the world. It is caused by the influenza virus. There are 2 types of influenza virus that cause flu epidemics every year. These are the influenza A and B viruses. There are numerous strains of these viruses, as well, and they undergo mutations every year. Symptoms of the flu include sneezing, congestion, and a sore throat. You can also develop a high fever and suffer from body aches and weakness. It is important to get plenty of rest if you get the flu. You must also maintain a high fluid intake. Pregnant women, children, and people with a weak immune system may be at greater risk and should consult a doctor. You can protect yourself from this viral disease by getting a flu vaccine.


This is another common viral disease. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. If you are suffering from a chickenpox infection, then red spots will appear on your body. These spots can be filled with fluid and convert into blisters. Recovering from the chickenpox infection usually takes up to 14 days. You can develop symptoms one or two days before the spots appear. These include fever, headaches, fatigue, and loss of appetite. There is no formal treatment for chickenpox. You can take acetaminophen and apply cooling creams or lotions to relieve the itching. Avoid scratching the blisters as this will leave a scar.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. However, the viral version of this disease is more common. Symptoms of bronchitis are similar to that of the common cold. You can also develop a cough. Treatment involves taking medicines to control the fever and treat the cough. You should also drink lots of fluids.


The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that compromises the immune system. It is responsible for infecting and killing your T-cells. These cells help the body fight against pathogens. As a result of this virus, your body becomes vulnerable to different types of diseases. HIV can be transferred via blood, breast milk, semen, rectal fluids, and vaginal fluids. There is no cure for the HIV virus. However, you can get antiretroviral therapy. This can allow you to live with the virus for several years. If you do not opt for HIV treatment, you can get acquired immunodeficiency disease (AIDS). This disease causes your immune system to stop working altogether, which can have fatal consequences.  

Let’s Sum It Up

There are numerous kinds of viral infections that afflict people every day. In most cases, your immune system can fight off these diseases. If you are suffering from a viral disease, then it is important to rest and keep yourself hydrated. You can also take acetaminophen. These measures can help alleviate the symptoms of most viral diseases. In some cases (such as HIV/AIDS), you can also take antiviral medicines.

If you require further advice on common viral infections, book an appointment with a physician at Health One Family Medicine.

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