That sick feeling...
On the one hand, Covid cases are on the rise. On the other, viral fever is spreading like wildfire. Add to that the threat of dengue and leptospirosis. TNIE speaks to experts on the ‘fever season’ in
KOCHI: Of late, every second person in Kerala seems to have a fever or a cold. People, generally, resort to self-prescribed doses of paracetamol and home-made concoctions. In many cases, they might work. But, not always.
Most often, people seek medical opinion only when fever, fatigue and other symptoms persist or become unbearable. Late diagnosis of dengue and even Covid are being increasingly reported. A leptospirosis outbreak, too, is looming.
Doctors who spoke to TNIE caution against ignoring symptoms of viral attacks for too long. Taking stock of the current scene in the state, they note the consequences of ignoring fever — a common symptom for many viral attacks may not be mild.
During the initial phase of the pandemic, the health care system’s primary efforts were focused on tackling transmission of viruses. “Now, the focus is not on transmission control, but on treatment,” says Dr George A, a pulmonologist based in Kochi.
“The number of severe cases requiring hospitalisation came down in the third and fourth waves. Currently, Covid also exhibits symptoms similar to other common viruses, so it becomes difficult to detect without testing.”
When to consult a doctor?
Fever persisting for more than five days and severe fatigue are “clear cases” where medical intervention is essential, say doctors. Those suffering from health complications involving lungs, liver and kidneys should seek medical help at the earliest, they add.
“Even after the intake of paracetamol, if fever persists, it is a warning sign,” says Dr Anup R Warrier, an infectious disease expert based in Kochi. “Also, those suffering from chronic illnesses should seek expert care right at the onset of symptoms. They would already be weak due to the underlying diseases.”
In some cases, Anup notes, post-Covid complications, including breathlessness and fatigue, cause severe problems. “Whether one has tested positive for Covid or not, paying attention to the symptoms matters,” he adds.
In the case of post-Covid patients with symptoms, only a few would require intensive drug treatment, says Dr P Shajahan, president of Academy of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in Thiruvananthapuram. “Many people require only psychological support,” he adds. “However, timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment are important.”
Parents, take care
Since schools reopened in June, fever cases among children spiralled. “Parents should not neglect symptoms of fever in children,” says Dr Preethy Nair, a pediatrician based in Thiruvananthapuram.
“In some cases, it takes days after a fever subsides for a cough to settle. If left untreated, this could lead to complications, including chest congestion. Similarly, it could also lead to asthmatic symptoms that can last for two months or more.”
On the one hand, Covid cases are on the rise. On the other, viral fever is spreading like wildfire. Add to that the threat of dengue and leptospirosis. TNIE speaks to experts on the ‘fever season’ in Kerala
Taking stock of the current scene in the state, doctors warn the consequences of ignoring fever a common symptom for viral attacks may not be mild. Those suffering from health complications should seek medical help at the earliest, say doctors