Home remedy for viral fever, running nose and cough

A viral fever is a very common ailment that affects thousands of people of all ages, across the globe, on a daily basis. Although viral fevers can affect people of all ages, it has been seen that children are a lot more prone to them, as compared to adults and teenagers. Although viral fevers are so common and have affected almost everybody at some point or the other, not a lot of people are aware of what is viral fever, what causes them, what their symptoms are and how they can be diagnosed and treated. This is because the term 'viral fever' can actually be used to include a wide spectrum of health conditions, which are related to a viral infection and fever. When a person suffers from a viral infection fever, it means that his body temperature has gone high, due to the presence of a viral infection.

Several microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other types of germs enter the human body, almost every single day. The immune system usually fights off these microorganisms, which keeps them from causing any major problems, within the body. However, there may be times when the immune system cannot fight all of them and eliminate them from the body. When a person's immune system fails to fend off these harmful viruses, they usually cause an infection in the body, which subsequently leads to a viral fever. Hence the term viral fever can be used for several types of infections that have been caused by viruses. Although viral fevers are highly contagious and should be strictly avoided, they are fairly harmless and do not lead to any major complications. However, in some instances, the symptoms of a viral fever could worsen rapidly and could lead to other dangerous health conditions, some of which could also be a threat ot the life of the individual.


In most cases, the various viral fever symptoms are generalized and include overall body pain and discomfort, in several instances, the symptoms could target certain organs of the body. Some of the most common viral fever symptoms seen are fever, body ache, sore throat, headache, fatigue, diarrhea and a skin rash, just to name a few. However, it is important to realize that the viral fever symptoms in adults can be different from the viral fever symptoms in babies and children. The two main symptoms that are common to both adults, as well as children are body ache and fever. However, the average body temperature in adults and children are also different. In adults, a person is believed to have fever, if the body temperature is above 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C). Other viral fever symptoms in adults are

  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • Weakness

However, in case an adults fever goes over 103 degrees F (39.4 degrees C), symptoms that are a lot more severe may appear, such as convulsions, hallucination, disorientation and confusion. In such cases, it is absolutely essential to seek immediate medical assistance.

Children generally have a higher body temperature as compared to adults. However, in case a child's fever ever exceeds 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C), it may be best to consult s doctor immediately. Some of the other viral fever symptoms in children and babies that may become evident are:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nasal congestion and a runny nose
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Skin rash
  • Sore throat

If a viral fever affects a baby who is below 3 months of age, it could be a cause for concern. This is because a newborn baby's immune system is usually not strong enough to combat the virus. Severe cases of viral fever in babies could lead to lethargy and unresponsiveness in the baby too. Any such instance should be checked and treated by the doctor, without any delay.


Most cases of fever, especially bacterial fever are treated with medication and antibiotics. However, antibiotics are totally ineffective as a viral fever cure. Therefore viral fever treatment is mainly aimed at reducing some of the painful symptoms that accompany the condition. Doctors usually try to control the symptoms of a viral fever, with the help of over the counter medicines, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Most health experts claim that trying to cure a viral fever interferes with the body's natural immunity and may also weaken it. Therefore, every instance of viral fever, especially in children, should be monitored by a doctor. There are some doctors who also explain the interrelation between viral fever symptoms and remedies and claim that many of the symptoms can be controlled with home remedies.

Home Remedies

Since antibiotics do not help reduce a viral fever, several doctors recommend the use of home remedies for viral fever in children as well as adults. There are many people who also ask doctors about advice on what to eat during viral fever, to speed up the healing process. Given below are a few simple home remedies for viral fever in kids and adults too:

  • Applying a cold compress, or an ice pack directly to the forehead
  • Soaking in lukewarm water for about 5 to 10 minutes a couple of times in the day
  • Dressing in clothing that is light and cool; it should not aggravate the skin rash
  • Ensuring that the temperature of the surround environment remains cool
  • Consuming a lot of fluids, especially water, fruit juice, weak tea and hot soup. This helps reduce a viral fever cough and soothes a sore throat.
  • Eating foods that are bland and are cooked without any oil or spices

The viral fever duration in adults may vary, as the condition could last for a couple of days or even weeks. However, in case the viral fever duration in children exceeds 3 or 4 days, it is best to consult a doctor about it. In case a viral fever is accompanied by malarial fever symptoms, it is important to inform a doctor about it without any delay.

answered by G R

There is no cure for a viral fever as such. The infection has to run its course and then subside, but several things can help reduce the severity and duration of the infection.

The important thing to do is to get plenty of fluids (not sugary ones) and plenty of rest. Viral fevers are very tiring and you should rest for at least two days even after the fever itself is gone.

Here are some home remedies to help you feel better:

  1. For a very high fever soak a hand sized towel in cold water and squeeze it out. Make a pad of it and leave it on the forehead until it becomes warm. Repeat the process for the chest and wipe off the hands and feet with the same towel. The evaporation of water from the towel takes away heat from the body. This is the simplest way to help bring down a high temperature.
  2. Gargle with salt water and suck on something sweet like a hard candy or a lozenge. This will keep your throat moist and help with the cough
  3. Drink a mixture of ginger juice and honey after warming it a little
  4. Keep some Margosa leaves in the room you are resting in. Margosa is a natural antiviral and prevents the spread of infection.
  5. Wash your hands frequently and cough and sneeze into a hanky and keep that hanky away from the rest of the household. Don't share food or utensils in this period or other people may get the infection
  6. Try using a vapourizer in your room. Add some Vicks vaporub to the water in the vaporizer. This will humidify the room and the Vicks Vaporub will help soothe both the cold and the cough.
  7. Apply some lubricant jelly such as KY Jelly to your nostrils so they don't get lacerated from all the nose wiping.
  8. Soak your feet in a warm bath and wipe them dry once you are done.
  9. Get yourself a backrub. Its good for the immune system and it will make you feel better.
  10. Eat light but healthy food. Soups are good during a fever. Chicken broth or any kind of soup really, will help you feel better. Eat plenty of fruit. Restrict your intake of oily, packaged and fried foods.

If the fever does not come down in 2-3 days and none of these measures give you any relief, talk to your primary health care giver.

answered by S E

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