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Updated: October 28, 2013 00:40 IST

Viral fevers, HFMD on the rise

M. Sai Gopal
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Prevailing cold dry air triggering allergic bronchitis

It is not just the cases of swine flu and dengue that are being detected in large numbers. Health officials, senior paediatricians and general practitioners are also indicating a rise in viral fevers and the prevalence of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) among children below five years this season.

While the typical symptoms of viral fevers are cough, cold, fever and body pains, the HFMD is characterised by mild illness, red spots on hands and legs, sore throat and mouth ulcers. Caused by virus, HFMD, however, is self-limiting and doctors point out that children will be able to recover within a week and there are no serious complications.

“Most of the viral fevers among children and even adults spread through touch and frequent hand washing is mandatory. There is no specific vaccine for HFMD, but there are flu shots for specific respiratory infections such as pneumonia. HFMD will subside on its own and there is no need for parents to panic,” advises in-charge Professor, Paediatrics, Gandhi Hospital, M. Vasudeva Murali.

Contagious

Usually, HFMD viruses spread when healthy individuals touch surfaces or objects that have been touched by infected persons. Physicians advise that because of its contagious nature, disinfecting common areas at home and cleaning up toys, pacifiers and other objects that are frequently touched by children is vital.

In addition to viral fevers, the prevailing cold dry air in the atmosphere is also a reason triggering large number of cases of allergic bronchitis like wheezing and coughing among children and adults.

“No need to cover children in layers of clothing. A simple cloth tied across the nose region, to prevent from inhaling the cold air, while travelling is enough. Public should avoid self medication for cough by abusing cough syrups and antibiotics,” Dr. Murali pointed out.

1,200 patients

The gradual rise of viral fevers has already started impacting the outpatient facilities at Gandhi and Osmania General Hospitals and Fever Hospital, which are now recording close to 1,200 patients on a single day.

Most patients are having symptoms like low and high grade fever, body pains, inflammation of the throat, running nose, headache, nasal congestion, muscle and joint pains.

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