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What Are the Different Viral Fever Symptoms?

A. Pasbjerg
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are several different viral fever symptoms that commonly occur when a person becomes infected, which can last for as little as a few days but may be present for several weeks. The most obvious is the elevation of one's body temperature, which can be mild to moderate or can become very high, depending on the type of virus. Many people feel achiness and fatigue in their muscles and joints while they have a fever. In many cases, patients will have nasal congestion, sore throat, and coughing. Other symptoms can include nausea, headache, and rash.

The most predominant of the viral fever symptoms is the fever itself. Once the virus has incubated and multiplied to a certain level in the body, the body's temperature will rise in response to the infection. Some people may only experience a very low grade fever, ranging from around 99 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 to 38.3 degrees Celsius). Others may run a temperature that is very high, around 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.8 degrees Celsius) or sometimes even higher. The fever may also be intermittent, with the person's temperature rising, then falling back to normal levels only to go back up again.

Another of the viral fever symptoms that most patients suffer from is body aches and fatigue. While they have an elevated temperature, people may tend to feel very tired and have little energy for activity. They also typically have a feeling of soreness or achiness in the muscles and joints throughout their bodies.

Upper respiratory viral fever symptoms are also quite common during an infection. Many patients complain of nasal congestion which leads to sneezing and a runny or stuffy nose when they have a virus. Often they develop a cough as well. The virus along with excess mucous in the throat and repetitive coughing can also make one's throat very sore and the voice hoarse. Swollen glands under the jaw and in the neck can also contribute to overall feelings of discomfort in the area.

There are several other viral fever symptoms that can affect patients as well. Often a headache will accompany an infection. Some people may experience an upset stomach or feelings of nausea, and have vomiting or diarrhea. One's eyes may become sore, red, and irritated. In some cases, the person with the fever will develop a rash on an area of his or her skin.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
A. Pasbjerg
By A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a WiseGeek contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.

Discussion Comments

By literally45 — On Nov 13, 2014

Viruses that affect the gastrointestinal system can cause fever too. Most people don't know about this but it happens and it happened to me.

I had stomach flu a few weeks ago. I had all the tell-tale signs like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. But I also had fever. It confused me but my doctor said that a fever is expected. I was given medications at the hospital, to stop the nausea and reduce the fever. I was also given a serum because I was dehydrated.

The treatments were great. I started feeling much better soon afterward and my temperature finally went back to normal. They ran some tests and discovered that I had a viral infection. It took me a few days to feel better again.

By bluedolphin — On Nov 13, 2014

@ddljohn-- I'm not an expert but yes, I believe both viral and bacterial infections can cause fever, cough, fatigue, nausea etc. You probably can't know for sure without seeing a doctor. The doctor will take a sample of saliva to test which should reveal whether the cause is viral or bacterial.

If it's flu season though and if you've been in public places, it's probably a viral fever, not bacterial.

By ddljohn — On Nov 12, 2014

Don't bacterial infections cause many of these symptoms too? How can I tell apart viral fever symptoms from bacterial fever symptoms?

A. Pasbjerg

A. Pasbjerg

Andrea Pasbjerg, a WiseGeek contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
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