5 viral infections and their associated warning signs

5 viral infections and their associated warning signs

Viruses are the most common carriers of infections. There are more than 200 distinct types of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses in humans. These viruses are often found on common surfaces and regions across the country, making them highly contagious. However, once the initial warning signs and symptoms are detected, viral infections are usually easy to manage. Below are some of the viral infections and their associated warning signs.

Common cold
The common cold is caused by a virus that enters the body through the mouth, eyes, or nose. This infection is usually transmitted when people touch contaminated surfaces or come in contact with infected individuals and then touch their face. Symptoms of a common cold include fever, runny nose, coughing, red eyes, and hoarseness of voice. Other disorders with these symptoms include sinusitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, and epiglottitis. Common colds are highly contagious but can be easily treated by resting, staying hydrated, and taking prescription-based solutions as recommended by a doctor.

Shingles, medically called herpes zoster, involve painful and usually itchy rashes that develop on one side of a person’s face or body. The rash usually scabs over within 7 to 10 days and takes up to 4 weeks to fully clear up. The virus that causes shingles spreads through direct contact with the rash on another person’s body or by breathing in virus particles released into the air. Some warning signs of shingles include headaches, upset stomach, and chills. Individuals with weak immune systems are more likely to get this condition.

Commonly termed chickenpox, varicella is one of the most widely-known and experienced viral infections around the globe. The disease is usually transmitted from infected individuals to children who are not immune to it. Chickenpox lasts for 4 to 7 days and is characterized by symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, and headaches. The most specific symptom of this condition is the presence of fluid-filled and itchy blisters on the skin, which eventually turn into scabs within a week or 10 days.

Viral gastroenteritis
This is a type of intestinal infection that can be identified by its symptoms, which typically appear within one to three days after a person becomes infected. This viral infection attacks a person’s intestines and often results in symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, stomach cramps, occasional headaches or muscle aches, and low-grade fever.

Polio is a neurological viral infection in which aggressive viral particles attack the cells of a person’s nervous system. Some of the most common symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, and sore throat. Some more definitive polio signs include sensitivity to light, muscle pain, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, and neck stiffness. The optimal way to avoid polio is to get vaccinated against the virus during early childhood.

Some other viral infections people generally contract include Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B.