Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Self-medication poses a hazard as viral fevers grip Chittoor district

Rampant viral fevers in several parts of Chittoor district has turned out to be a cause for concern for the medical and paramedical staff in the last few weeks.

Primary health centres, area hospitals, and the district hospital have been witnessing a steady flow of patients suffering from viral fever.

Though the tail-end areas of the district have not experienced rains in the last three months, cloudy weather and humid conditions are said to be the reasons for the spread of viral fevers.

Several patients complain that a majority of the primary health centres have no proper facilities to perform blood tests, which is forcing them to approach private clinics.

“A few quacks and private medical practitioners are taking advantage of the outbreak of viral fevers and treating patients by prescribing high doses of antibiotics without conducting any diagnostic tests,” says a senior medical officer at Nagari.

Viral fevers apart, the threat of COVID-19 continues to prevail in the district that borders Tamil Nadu and Karnataka though there is no tangible evidence to prove either the spike or drop in the number of infections.

A majority of the patients approaching the clinics say that they are suffering from severe throat pain, cough, headache, and fever.

Cause for worry

While this is so, a trend that is also a cause for worry is self-medication. The experience gained during the various COVID-19 waves seems to have emboldened the people to take medicines without consulting a doctor. “Unlike the pre-COVID-19 days, people are now able to mention the names of medicines with ease,” says a medical shop owner in Chittoor.

“Despite a spike in the viral fevers, the number of patients rushing to hospitals with related symptoms is considerably less when compared to the period when COVID-19 is at its peak,” says a private medical officer.

“Several people are first trying self-medication with paracetamol and antibiotics for all febrile illnesses. They are approaching a doctor when their self-medication fails to give them relief. It is turning out to be difficult to handle such cases. People are failing to heed our warnings against self-medication,” he says.

Medical camps

“Medical officers of all primary health centres and specialist medical faculty have been roped in to conduct periodical medical camps in the rural areas to tackle the viral fevers,” says District Immunisation Officer P. Ravi Raju.


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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 6:53:41 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-self-medication-poses-a-hazard-as-viral-fevers-grip-chittoor-district/article65768560.ece