Visakhapatnam

Fever is a boon for child: Expert

A child suffering from fever causes a lot of worry to everyone in the family and if mother alone is with the child, her anxiety and fear cannot be described.

However, a senior consultant paediatrician of the city assures the parents and family members that they need not worry over the fever in a child.

Dr. N.A.N. Murthy says: When external infection like virus or bacteria invades the body, it produces certain amount of tissue damage. This is an emergency state in the body. Since there is no alarm which can alert all the systems in the body to meet an emergency state, god has given a system called “fever” which makes all the systems alert.

All the defence mechanisms in the body are alerted to act against the bacteria or virus and kill it. So, “fever” is a boon given by god to fight the invading infection”.

The body temperature (set at 98.4 degrees F for all humans) can go up and stimulate all the defence mechanisms to bring down the temperature. If the temperature is allowed to rise, that itself is a treatment and the child will be normal in two to three days. If there is discomfort or pain, that can be alleviated.

Mild fevers will stimulate the body immunity and the child will be fit to fight the major infections in the later life, says Dr. Murthy.

No medicine is required if the fever is less than 100 degree F and the child is comfortable and playing around, accepting normal food and not vomiting food and if there is no family history of convulsions during fever.

However, treatment is needed when the child is restless and is associated with convulsions and drowsiness. Also treatment needed if fevers like malaria, typhoid and encephalitis are diagnosed early and showing symptoms like being extremely weak and rashes developed on the body like in the case of dengue fever, Dr. Murthy said.

Sometimes fever may not come down even after antibiotics are administered and in such cases sponging the body with lukewarm water might help.

“For all the fevers, if the child is otherwise normal and playing around, no antibiotics are required for the first 72 hours. Investigations are also not required, as it takes minimum three days to produce necessary changes in urine and blood. So, the parents are advised not to get panicky and go in for investigations in the initial two or three days unless it is warranted by the consultant, he said.

Fits may occur in one to two per cent of the cases with high temperature in children below five years, which means 98 per cent will not have convulsions. There is no worry unless there is family history of convulsions during fever, Dr. Murthy said.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 1:19:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/Fever-is-a-boon-for-child-Expert/article16724317.ece

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