The 5 Most Common Viral Infections You Should Know

Despite the common misconception that viral infections are milder than bacterial ones, several strains of viruses can cause serious illness and even death. Symptoms of infection may vary and often go unnoticed. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the most common viral infections, so you can get treatment as soon as possible. Here are 5:


Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, known as varicella-zoster virus (VZV). After you’ve had chicken pox as a child, the virus remains dormant in your body for many years. 

However, it can reactivate later in life, usually when you’re between 50 and 70 years old, and cause shingles. You need to find out how to treat shingles quickly since it can have a negative effect on your body later in life. 


Chickenpox is a highly contagious virus that causes red spots to appear on your skin. The infection usually lasts about 10 days, but it can be treated with over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, to relieve symptoms like fever, fatigue, and itching.


Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that causes fever, rash, and red eyes. It’s most common in children but can also be found in adults who haven’t been vaccinated against measles or never had it before.

Measles can be prevented with a vaccine. Most people who get the vaccine will not get measles when they encounter someone who has it. However, some people do still get sick after being vaccinated (about 1 out of every 1,000). If you are unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated or not, talk to your doctor about receiving another dose of the vaccine.


Rubella, also known as German measles, is a viral infection that can cause mild symptoms in children and adults. It’s usually spread through coughing and sneezing, but you can also get it from contact with someone who has rubella.

The main symptom of rubella is a rash that begins on the face and spreads to other parts of your body. Other symptoms include fever and swollen lymph nodes (which are located under your arms). The rash lasts about 3 days before going away by itself. However, if you are pregnant or have an immune system problem, then there may be more serious complications, such as deafness or blindness in your baby if they get infected before birth.


Mumps is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the parotid salivary glands, located in front of each ear. The virus is spread from person to person by droplets from an infected person’s mouth or nose, usually when they sneeze or cough.

The mumps vaccine can prevent most cases of mumps infection if given on time (before exposure). Two doses are recommended: one dose at 12 months old and another at 4-6 years old (or as soon as possible). For those who were vaccinated but never developed immunity after two doses, a third dose may be given at age 11-12 years old (or as soon as possible).


As you can see, there are many viral infections. While these may not be as common as bacterial infections, they can still affect your health and require treatment. If you think that you have any of these symptoms, you must seek medical attention immediately so that they don’t spread to others or become worse over time.

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