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Viral Syndrome


Viral syndrome is a term healthcare providers use for general symptoms of a viral infection that has no clear cause. Viruses are spread easily from person to person through the air and on shared items.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have continued vomiting and diarrhea.
  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms get worse after 5 to 7 days.
  • Your symptoms do not go away within 10 days.
  • You have thick drainage or pus coming out of 1 or both nostrils and pain in one side of your face.
  • You have a fever and pain.
  • You have green sputum.


  • Antipyretics reduce fever.
  • Antihistamines help relieve a rash, itching, and trouble breathing.
  • Decongestants decrease a stuffy nose so that you can breathe more easily.
  • Antitussives help control a cough.
  • Antivirals help keep the virus from increasing, and help control symptoms.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Prevent dehydration:

Ask your healthcare provider if you should drink oral rehydration solution (ORS). An ORS has the right amounts of water, salts, and sugar you need to replace body fluids. This may help prevent dehydration.

Prevent infection:

Viruses are spread easily from person to person through the air and on shared items. You can spread a virus to other people for weeks after your symptoms go away. The following are ways to prevent the spread of a virus:

  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water, or use an alcohol-based gel. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, change a child's diapers, or sneeze. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food. Use a gel hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
  • Wear a mask to help prevent spreading the virus to others.
  • Cook and handle food properly. Cook food completely through. Clean food preparation surfaces with a disinfectant.
  • Ask about vaccinations. You may need a flu, pneumonia, or meningococcal vaccine.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.