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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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016