Q:

How long does a viral infection last?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Human Illnesses and Behavioral Health website, most viral infections clear up in a matter of days or within a few weeks. This happens because the immune system typically reacts to the virus and removes it from the system. Some viruses cause latent infections that persist for years.

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Full Answer

Examples of viruses that cause latent infections include herpes and Hepatitis B and C viruses, according to this source. HIV is another virus that causes latent infections. Such infections may exist without producing any symptoms until years after the infection occurs. In other cases, the infected person recovers from an acute attack of the illness and lives without symptoms until the symptoms return after a period of time.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you treat a sinus infection?

    A:

    Treating a sinus infection involves treating the symptoms and underlying cause, according to Mayo Clinic. While some sinus infections require the use antibiotics, the vast majority don't. This is because the primary cause of most sinus infections is a virus, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For viral sinus infections, antibiotics won't do any good. Antibiotics are used for bacterial sinus infections.

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  • Q:

    How do you get rid of a sinus infection?

    A:

    The right treatment for a sinus infection depends on whether the infection is caused by bacteria or a virus. Experts from the CDC say antibiotic therapy is not necessary unless a person has an acute infection caused by bacteria. If the infection is caused by a virus, it usually goes away on its own, though people with sinus infections may use over-the-counter medicines to treat symptoms.

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  • Q:

    How long do sinus infections last?

    A:

    According to WebMD, sinus infections can last for weeks if they go untreated. Sinus infections typically have symptoms similar to colds, but symptoms lasting for more than 10 days may be indicative of a sinus infection. Sinus infections are diagnosed through a physical exam and a review of medical history.

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  • Q:

    How do you treat a sinus infection with a sore throat?

    A:

    When a sinus infection and sore throat last longer than 10 days, antibiotics are typically used to clear the infection, according to WebMD. Decongestants can also be used to help open nasal pathways and clear congestion during this time. Natural treatments to minimize the pain of a sinus infection include steam and hot showers, as well as a nasal saline wash to remove mucus from the nose.

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