Although viruses are known to modify the free radical concentration in infected cells, the exact location and concentrations of such changes remain unknown. Although this information is important to understand the virus pathogenesis and design better anti-viral drugs or vaccines, obtaining it with the conventional free radical/ROS detection techniques is impossible. Here, we elucidate the utility of diamond magnetometry for studying the free radical response of baby hamster kidney-21 cells upon Semliki Forest virus infection. Specifically, we optically probe the alterations in free radical concentration near infectious viruses via measuring the spin-lattice relaxation (T1) of NV defect ensembles embedded in intracellular nanodiamonds. We performed measurements both at random locations as well as close to the virus entry by conjugating viruses to nanodiamond sensors. We observed alterations of T1, which represent the intracellular free radical concentration during the viral replication process. Moreover, relaxometry is also used to monitor real-time free radical variation during the early infectious process.