There is a proverbial statement that the intensity of fever and headache will be known only to the sufferer. Once a person is affected with fever of any kind, he will become so exhausted with high temperature, unbearable pain all over the body and no appetite. Added to the general fever condition, there is a plethora of other viruses such as malaria, chickengunya, dengue which may endanger one’s life. Similarly, the statistical data regarding the victims of these viruses are most disturbing. The figures pertaining to admissions to the hospitals in the rural places are equally alarming.
Majority of the fever types are caused by the insects like mosquito, flies etc. and also through contact from the already affected person to those who lack immunity to resist them. The environment also plays a vital role in this. Polluted air, unhygienic water and food are also responsible for the spread of these fevers. We spoke to general practitioner Dr.Amudhakumar who explains the various virus fevers with possible preventive and remedial steps.
The fever caused by viruses should not be neglected. If the indications are unique apart from general temperature and weariness, the patient should be taken to a doctor for a proper diagnosis; or else, it may attack brain, heart, lungs etc leading to fatal result sometimes.
In general, fever is not to be understood as a disease. It is only an alerting phenomenon. When there is an infection, there is a battle inside and when our body is unable to fight against such virus, the normal temperature of 98.4*F (37*C) will go up which is known as fever. If this is an ordinary type, a dose of antibiotic will do.
Unhygienic water and food have a tendency to cause this virus fever. This would go up to one week; particularly, it would start as an ordinary fever but in due course, it would make it worse after three days and thereafter it will taper down with medicines. It is very likely to affect the throat primarily.
Generally Typhoid exists during monsoon and cold season. The bacteria called ‘Salmonella typhi’ enters our body through polluted water and contaminated food and are responsible for occurence of Typhoid. These bacterias enter small intestine directly and mix with our blood. Severe headache and intermittent fever are symptoms for such virus. The fever intensifies day by day . While the tongue will become whitish, lack of appetite, vomiting and stomach ache including giddiness due to exhaustion would follow.
The main culprit for malaria is mosquitoes. Many people have died of malaria in tropical countries. This will cause fever with shiver. If it gets severe, it is likely to affect brain leading even to death.
This is also caused by virus through mosquitoes. Though it is less severe than malaria and dengue, this will cause fever with unbearable body ache and joint pain.
H1N1 – influenza virus causes this swine flu with high temperature, throat infection and liver problem. In 2010 it had caused death of several people. However, now there is a remedy called ‘Tamiflu’ which will cure this flu if found and diagnosed early.
This is a deadly fever. This is spread through one particular mosquito called ‘Aedes’ which is contagious. Indications are high fever, head ache, body ache, joint pain, stomach ache, pain behind the eyes, continuous vomiting, body exhaustion etc. For some, it will be reflected through itching sensation, red spots on body including the blood-clotting agent of flat cells.
Brain fever is caused by bacteria, virus, fungi and TB incidence. It spreads through air as well as mosquitoes. It also gets spread when the affected person sneezes or coughs. This will reflect through neck pain, fever, head ache, vomiting, fits and giddiness. The incidence of fits will be frequent.
How to protect?
We must mainly avoid mosquito bite in order to protect ourselves from malaria, dengue, chicken gunya, filariasis and brain fever
We can always take boiled water and protected food items against flies so that we can avoid attack of fever caused by diarrhoea and liver disorder
Whenever we get fever we must refer to a doctor instead of self-medication because sometimes, the self-medication will hide the real cause although we may be relieved of the fever at once
We can access Government hospitals for taking a dose of papaya leaf essence, nilavembu and malaivembu potion as a preventive measure
General protective & preventive measures:-
We must take pure and protected water only
We must avoid stagnation of dirty and muddy water in and around our house
We must always wear footwear while going out
We must refrain from urinating or defecating in common place
Most importantly, we must avoid mosquito bite
Whenever we cough or sneeze, we must cover our face with cloth in order to avoid spreading
We must never spit in common places
Unprotected and unhygienic non-vegetarian items must be avoided.
Milk should always be heated before drinking
Any vegetable or fruit should be cleaned and washed before use
Proper manicuring should be done periodically to avoid collection of dirt
Food from unhygienic places should never be consumed under any circumstances
We must wash our hands with soap both before having our food and after going to rest room
Self-discipline in regard to our daily food habits and good civic sense on our part will undoubtedly save us from the attack of these contagious diseases.
(This article written in Tamil by G Lakshmanan has been reproduced in English by P S Ramamurthy)