By Dr. Sunil Garg
During the monsoons, viral infections are quite common and spread very quickly. When it rains continuously and heavily, the climate is clean and viral infections are few.
But viral infections are more, when rains are sporadic and sky is cloudy.It is very important to take precautions to prevent any kind of infection especially during rains and if at all one gets the infection it is even more important to seek timely medical advice for quick recovery.
People generally don’t pay attention to cold and flu as they think it is common in rains. They either neglect it or keep on taking medicines on their own. But it is important that one should not take medicines on their own and must see a doctor as sometimes situation can get serious. While minor illnesses are self limiting and easy to control, prompt treatment and precautions should be taken to prevent complications.
Viral infections usually cause generalized symptoms as high fever, running nose, redness of eye , cough, sore throat, headache, and body pain/weakness, diarrhea ,vomiting ,loss of appetite.
Viral fever spreads through direct contact with sick person, intake of contaminated food/water, inhalation of aerosolized particles while coughing /sneezing
Precautions to be taken during monsoons to avoid infection -
-Try to avoid getting drenched in rains and if unavoidable, wipe your head immediately.
-Keep yourself warm
-Avoid eating out , especially street food.
-Drink properly boiled water.
-Eat healthy, light and fresh food.
-Wash your hands regularly.
-If you get an infection try to stay indoors to prevent spreading it.
-Use handkerchief to cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing
-Keep the surrounding environment clean.
-Use mask while you come in contact with someone suffering from viral fever.
Self-Care at Home
-Tablet paracetamol can be taken to reduce the fever till you see the doctor
-Cold sponging can be done to reduce the fever.
-Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
-Take healthy diet rich in vitamins.
-Take steam inhalation if you have blocked nose.
When to Seek Medical Care?
When to call or see the doctor?
Mostly viral fever goes on its own. However one should call the doctor if fever -
Is 103 F (39.4 C) or more.
Lasts more than 7days.
Symptoms are getting worsen.
When to go to the hospital emergency?
One should immediately go to hospital if fever is accompanied by-
Severe headache and stiffness of neck
Difficulty in breathing or chest pain
Blood in the stool/urine
Agitation or confusion
About The Author –
Dr. Sunil Garg is a Critical care (ICU) specialist, based in Udaipur. By this article his aim is to create awareness among people how to go about and deal with commonly encountered emergency medical situations till one gets medical help.