Medical Definition of Viral infection

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Viral infection: Infection caused by the presence of a virus in the body. Depending on the virus and the person's state of health, various viruses can infect almost any type of body tissue, from the brain to the skin. Viral infections cannot be treated with typical antibiotics (antibacterial antibiotics); in fact, in some cases the use of antibacterial antibiotics may cause side-effects that complicate the viral infection. The vast majority of human viral infections can be effectively fought by the body's own immune system, with a little help in the form of proper diet, hydration, and rest. As for the rest, treatment depends on the type and location of the virus, and may include anti-viral antibiotics or other drugs.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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