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Health Information For Parents
May also be called: Virus
A viral infection is an infection or disease caused by a virus (a type of germ).
Infections can be caused by different germs, such as bacteria or viruses. Viral infections can cause many different symptoms, like fever, congestion, sore throat, cough, ear pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
Sometimes the responsible virus is easily determined while other times this isn’t possible. While both viral and bacterial infections can make someone feel sick, only infections caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics.
Antibiotics won’t help a viral infection get better or keep it from being contagious, and can sometimes cause unnecessary side effects.
Viral infections can be frustrating and uncomfortable. But with rest and supportive care (like staying hydrated), most people will feel better in a few days.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
Viruses are a type of germ. They’re very tiny, and when they get inside your body, they can make you sick.
Get the basics on how flu spreads and how to protect yourself.
The flu can make you sick for a week or more. Find out how to get protected from the influenza virus.
Learn all about protecting your family from the flu and what to do if your child gets flu-like symptoms.
Kids can get up to eight colds a year – or more. The common cold sends more kids to the doctor than any other illness.
Most teens get between two and four colds each year. Read this article for the facts on colds and ways to feel better when you catch one.
Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don’t wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this contagious infection.
Germs are tiny organisms that can cause disease – and they’re so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.
Washing your hands well and often is the best way to keep from getting sick. Here’s how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.
Colds are the most common infectious disease in the United States – and the top reason kids visit the doctor and miss school.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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