What Are the Different Types of Viral Infections?

February 28, 2023

Before discussing the types of viral infections there are, we must first understand what viruses are and what they do. A virus is composed of either DNA or RNA strands, surrounded by a coat of protein. Viruses need living cells in order for them to be able to thrive and multiply. Typically a viral infection can present in ways ranging from no symptoms (Asymptomatic) to very severe disease. 

In this article we will look at the different types of viral infections and how they are transferred from person to person. If you’re experiencing any illness symptoms, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Aurora Saddle Rock for same-day diagnosis and treatment.

Types of Viral Infections

Oftentimes people describe a virus based on its site of infection, the symptoms they cause or how they are spread. Adenoviruses are a class of virus that specialize in causing different types of illnesses in the body. The various types of viral infections include:

1. Respiratory infections: This is a type of viral infection that affects the lungs, throat, nose and airways. Viruses found in the respiratory system typically cause sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and even ear infection. Examples of respiratory infections include:

  • Covid 19
  • Common cold
  • The flu
  • Influenza

2. Viral infections of the digestive system: Viruses can also invade the digestive system. When they get into the system they attack the stomach, gastrointestinal tract and also the liver. These types include:

  • Norovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Astrovirus (which commonly causes gastroenteritis)
  • Hepatitis virus (which cause liver disease)

3. Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs): A hemorrhagic fever will affect how blood clots in the body which leads to weakened blood vessels. Needless to say, having damaged blood vessels can lead to very serious bleeding issues which could be life threatening. Examples of this virus include:

  • Yellow fever
  • Ebola
  • Dengue

4. Sexually transmitted viruses: STDs are typically transferred through sexual contact but can also be spread through other means like coming in contact with the infected person's body fluids. Examples are:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Genital warts
  • Herpes

5. Viral infections that affect the skin: This type of viral infection usually presents in the form of rashes all over the body. These rashes can appear as boils or patches of blood under the skin. Examples include:

  • Measles
  • Chicken pox
  • Roseola
  • Mpox

6. Neurological viral infections: Some types of viruses go straight for the nervous system. The nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. When viruses attack these areas it can lead to paralysis, seizures and meningitis. Examples are:

  • Polio
  • Rabies
  • West Nile virus

7. Congenital viral infections: These are viruses passed from parent to offspring while still in the womb. Depending on the type of virus, it can pose serious risk to the survival of the child. The most common viruses that cause congenital infection are:

  • Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Zika virus

Diagnosis and Treatment of Viral Infections

In order for your physician to accurately diagnose you, there might be a series of examinations done depending on the type of virus that is being diagnosed. Typically swab samples can be collected from the mouth, nose or throat. Blood samples are also collected for testing.

The other types of samples collected for testing include:

  • Saliva
  • Sputum
  • Skin
  • Urine
  • Stool
  • Pap smear

Unfortunately most viruses don't have a cure but they can be managed with the help of medications. Depending on the type of virus, vaccines can be gotten to avoid infection.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Aurora Saddle Rock for Care

Viral infections are nothing to joke about, if not addressed properly they can lead to death. If you start to notice any symptoms of the viral infections above, then rush down to an urgent care center to get yourself tested. AFC Urgent Care Aurora Saddle Rock treats a wide range of viral infections seven days a week!

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