The soaring humidity level in monsoon attracts numerous virus making a suitable environment to spread rapidly.
Fever caused by vial infections (viral fever) has spurt in recent times. Physicians say that maintaining personal hygiene and following simple guideline for fever management help alleviate the condition.
“We are seeing lots of people of all age groups coming with high grade fever (103-1050F) in recent days. Besides high fever, nausea, vomiting and severe bodyache is a common symptom. Some reported with watery nasal discharge, cough, shivering, skin rash and irritability and some with diarrhoea,” informed Dr Harun-ur-Rashid Khan Rakib, Assistant Registrar of Medicine Unit-II of Mitford Hospital, Dhaka.
Most of them are not dangerous and are self-limiting. The fever disappears on its own by four to five days. Some are highly contagious. Special precaution should be taken to prevent any fatal condition.
The diagnosis of viral fevers is based on the clinical presentation rather than on laboratory investigations. And the management is also symptomatic, since antibiotics have almost no role here. The diagnosis is made by the typical history of fever with severe muscle and joint pains. Skin rash and lymph gland swellings have to be specifically looked for.
Laboratory investigations are undertaken to rule out other bacterial infections rather than to confirm viral fever. Confirmation of the fever is done by a culture of virus from the relevant specimens such as nasal swabs and skin rash or by increase in antibody levels in serial blood samples.
Treatment of viral fever is purely symptomatic. Medicines (mainly Paracetamol) are given to lower temperature and relieve body aches. Paracetamol Suppositories are helpful to lessen temperature in high fever. Bed rest and adequate fluid intake are advised. Nasal decongestants may be beneficial.
Complications of viral infections like pneumonia need to be addressed specifically. Symptoms of gastroenteritis should be managed with anti-motility agents.
Most viral fevers recover completely in a week although fatigue may persist for a few weeks more. There are not any substantial preventive measures as viral infection spreads mostly through droplet infections. They spread mostly in crowded places like offices, classrooms and play schools.
Simple tips to alleviate symptoms include:
* Take more rest.
* Sponge your body with tepid water several times a day.
* Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke, which can make cold symptoms worse.
* Drink lots of fluids like water, fruit juice and clear soups. Fluids help loosen mucus. Fluids are also important because they help prevent dehydration.
* Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day if you have a sore throat. Throat sprays or lozenges may also help relieve the pain.
* Avoid alcohol if you are alcoholic.
* Use nasal drops to help loosen mucus and moisten the tender skin in your nose.
* Antibiotics will not work against virus. So do not take antibiotics without a prescription.
If you encounter one or more things stated below, you should seek emergency or medical help.* A high, prolonged fever (above 102 degrees)
* Symptoms that last for more than 10 days or get worse instead of better
* Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest
* Fainting or feeling like you are about to faint
* Confusion or disorientation
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Severe pain in your face or forehead
* Hoarseness, sore throat or a cough that do not go away after 10 days.
Md Rajib Hossain
The Daily Star.