Fever cases on the rise in Kerala, trend set to continue
According to experts, the trend of rising cases will continue at least for a few more weeks, while standard precautionary measures can help check the spread.
KOCHI: Fever cases have been on the rise in the state for the past few months, a trend that health experts say is set to continue. While viral fever cases see a general spike during monsoon season in Kerala, unlike in previous years, symptoms like fatigue and difficulty in breathing are being reported more frequently this time. Moreover, the recovery period is comparatively higher this year. As many as 1,08,420 viral fever cases were reported in the state in the first 11 days of August alone. While 3,14,095 cases were recorded in July, the figure was 2,93,424 in June.
According to experts, the trend of rising cases will continue at least for a few more weeks, while standard precautionary measures can help check the spread. “The trend is influenced by societal factors like crowding, and also the hot and humid climate of Kerala,” said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, a member of the public health advisory panel, Indian Medical Association (IMA) - Kerala.
“Once a significant number of people has been affected, the number of cases will automatically start decreasing,” he said. Dr Sreenivasa Kamath, president of IMA-Cochin, too, said climatic changes can lead to a spike in cases. “Intermittent rain amid hot climate can result in more people getting infected,” he said.
Recovery time of fever patients now longer: Expert
The state government has set up fever clinics at hospitals to tackle the situation. “Facilities like fever clinics and fever wards have been arranged at taluk hospitals, general hospitals and government medical college hospitals,” Health Minister Veena George told the state assembly last week.
Dr Abraham Varghese, former president of IMA, Kerala, said fatigue and decreasing blood count are common among viral fever patients this time. “Viral fever will have seasonal changes. Antibiotics may not help in several cases.
Ample rest and isolation can help,” he said. According to Dr Sreenivasa Kamath, fever patients now take longer to recover. “The patients become weak, and it takes them one week to 10 days to recover, in comparison to 3-4 days earlier,” he said.
“In most cases, patients are provided symptomatic treatment,” he said. Increasing fluid intake can help maintain health during a fever. “Any viral fever could lead to a temporary decrease in blood counts. Both platelets and white blood cells may decrease as an early immune response.
Fatigue is caused by cytokines released as part of inflammation and extra energy expenditure during the process. Taking more fluids and electrolytes can help, for instance, lightly salted buttermilk,” said Dr Rajeev. Hospitalisation might be needed when the intake of fluids is insufficient or if symptoms are severe, he added.