Viral infection in Babies: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention


Viral fever in babies is more common than adults. As we know, the body immune system of a baby is not much capable as of the adult’s immune system. And so as said earlier babies are more prone to infection than the adults. We have seen most of the babies get infected on climate change mostly monsoon because in monsoon there is more humidity in the weather and can lead to viral infection because of more germs present in the surrounding atmosphere during such conditions. So its parent’s duty to take care of a baby in such condition and prevent viral infection such as Cold and Flu.

What is viral fever or viral infection?

Viral fever or viral infection is the condition in which there is an increase in the body temperature. This increased body temperature suggests us that yes, something is wrong in our body. Viral infection most commonly affects the children and old age persons. But keep in mind that children are the worst target of viral infections.

What causes viral infection in babies?

The viral infection itself suggest infection from person to person. Generally, the infection can transmit to a baby through infected person’s cough, sneeze, physical contact, etc. Even the germs can spread to a baby from surrounding environment.

What are the symptoms of viral infection in babies?

Mild to moderate symptoms of viral infection in babies include:

  • A rise in body temperature. The temperature can rise above 104° F.
  • Cold
  • Shivering
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Recurrent fever

Severe symptoms of viral infection in babies are:

  • Vomiting
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Puffiness of face
  • Body ache
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tremor or shaking

Why there is temperature rise in viral infection in babies?

When the virus attacks baby’s body, the immune system of the body gets activated to protect against the virus. So body immune system produces more amount of white blood cells to attack the virus or any other foreign body and this can lead to the rise in body temperature.

How long does the viral fever persist in case of viral infection in babies?

Viral fever in babies can persist for 3 to 4 days and can last up to 10-15 days in some severe viral infections.

When to call medical emergency in case of viral infection in babies?

If you find any above mentioned severe viral infection symptoms, immediately seek for the medical emergency. If your baby is below 3 years old and you find a rise in fever it is always advisable to call general physician or pediatrician as there is under developed immune system in the baby below 3 years and is not capable of fighting the virus.

Diagnosis of viral infection in babies

Viral infection or viral fever is the result of core illness present in the body. So the diagnosis of this is more important to find the cause. So better to get your baby to the general physician or pediatrician. Your doctor will check the baby and will suggest some blood reports such as CBC (Complete Blood Count). In the case of viral infection, CBC report shows a rise in the WBC (White Blood Cells) where other components of blood such as RBC (Red Blood Cells), Palates Counts and, ESR (Erythrocytes Sedimentation Rate) remains unchanged. A presence of Viral fever may suggest of dengue, chikungunya, malaria, typhoid, pneumonia, etc.

Treatment of viral infection in babies

Treatment of viral infection may depend on its severity. The main line of treatment is to relieve the symptoms present in the baby. This can ultimately solve the problem of high fever. The initial treatment includes some home remedies such as:

  • Put cloth with salt water or lukewarm water on the forehead for 5-10 minutes.
  • Give your baby oil and spices free food if he or she is on diet and if he or she is on breastfeeding please continue that as breast milk can recover this condition very well because of its component and nutrition.
  • Give your baby, ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) to compensate the water loss from the body.
  • Use of vaporizer if your baby is suffering from cold. But please check the age restriction present on the vaporizer.
  • Put on light, cool and clean cloth on your baby
  • Prevent further infection to a baby from you by using hand soap or hand sanitizer before touching your baby.
  • Rest is what he or she needs.

If these home remedies fail to treat the fever and body temperature remains above 103° F, then immediately call the doctor.

Prevention of viral infection in babies

Some preventive measures to avoid viral infection in babies are:

  • Wash your hand before touching the baby
  • If any family member or neighbor is suffering from cold or flu, keep your baby reach out of them.
  • Avoid crowded or congested places.
  • Give your baby a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Keep babies’ clothes and utensils neat and clean.


Use the preventive measures and keep your baby away from the viral infection because some severe viral infections can be fatal so if you find any above-mentioned symptoms of viral infection in your baby consult the doctor.

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By Dr Lifesaving