Know about Fevers


What better way to enjoy the rains in Delhi, than take a walk in the lush, freshly washed Lodhi Gardens. This past Sunday, my husband and I prepared for the walk by wearing loose cotton clothing to cover as much of the body as possible, sprayed mosquito repellant on remaining exposed skin, filled water in our reusable steel bottles, and in doing that had prepared ourselves for two of the most common infections this season – mosquito-spread fevers and water-borne diseases.

This monsoon, at our practice at Bhagwati hospital Mehrauli, we have treated many patients with unremitting fever for over 7-10 days. Malaria and Scrub typhus accounted for the large proportion of these fevers, with Dengue and unspecified viral fevers as the other diagnoses.

Following are a few facts about Malaria and Scrub Typhus:

Scrub typhus, also known as bush typhus, is a disease caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. Scrub typhus is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites). The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash. 

Symptoms of scrub typhus usually begin within 10 days of being bitten. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Body aches and muscle pain
  • A dark, the scab-like region at the site of the chigger bite (also known as eschar)
  • Mental changes, ranging from confusion to coma
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Rash

People with severe illness may develop organ failure and bleed, which can be fatal if left untreated.

Malaria is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium.

Most common species being P. vivax (P Falciparum in certain areas of the country)

The malaria parasite is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes, which bite mainly between dusk and dawn.

Symptoms of malaria usually begin after 7-10 days of being bitten. Signs and symptoms may include:

·   Fever

·   Chills

·   Sweats

·   Headaches

·   Nausea and vomiting

·   Body aches

·   General malaise

The most severe form is caused by P. falciparum; variable clinical features include fever, chills, headache, muscular aching and weakness, vomiting, cough, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

We recommend the following basic tips for the prevention and treatment of fever during monsoon:

1. Prevent being bitten (by mites or mosquitoes) by covering all exposed skin with loose cotton clothing and mosquito repellants when outdoors or in areas where you suspect there may be mosquitoes.

2. Carry your own clean water and avoid uncooked food from street vendors3. See a doctor early during after a fever starts in order to establish the diagnosis and start the correct treatment.

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