ZocdocAnswersHow long can I run a fever with a virus?

Question

How long can I run a fever with a virus?

I am a 43 year old mother of one. I have been running a fever for 9 days now. When I went to the doctor, they drew blood and said that I did not have an infection. The numbers showed that I have a virus. I have felt wiped out, lost my appetite, and have had a 99- 100 degree fever each day. How long can it take for me to recover from this virus?

Answer

I'm sorry you're feeling so bad! Your symptoms of loss off appetite and feeling wiped out are symptoms associated with an activated immune system. A nasty viral infection is something that could be causing this, especially if it is something like the influenza virus. If it has been 9 days, then I think that you should be seeing a recovery soon. It was good that you got a blood bacterial infection ruled out with the blood draw. I would say that if you are not feeling better in 1-2 weeks, then you should return to your doctor (your primary care physician such as your family doctor or internal medicine doctor) for work-up of other possibilities other than a simple contagious viral infection. If you have any current or previous risk factors (IV drug abuse, unprotected sex), then you should probably be tested for HIV. You should be tested for some of the slower growing bacterial infections such as Lyme disease (especially if you live in the North East). Finally, you should have blood malignancies such as leukemia or lymphoma ruled out as well. Since these are low grade temps, and you symptoms have been going on for such a short period of time, I think you will most likely experience a full recovery. Good luck.

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