After dengue fever, the infamous’ seven-day fever’ is spreading quickly in Kolkata, doctors warn

In the midst of the ongoing health crisis, another alarming situation has arisen in Kolkata – the rapid spread of the infamous ‘seven-day fever.’ This viral illness, often overshadowed by more well-known diseases like dengue, has been on the rise in the city, causing concern among doctors and health authorities.

Understanding the ‘Seven-Day Fever’

The ‘seven-day fever,’ also known as the ‘febrile illness,’ is a viral infection caused by various strains of viruses, typically transmitted through the Aedes mosquito, the same vector responsible for spreading dengue. The term ‘seven-day fever’ is derived from its characteristic duration of symptoms, which usually last for about a week.

Symptoms

High Fever:

The hallmark symptom of the ‘seven-day fever’ is a sudden onset of high fever, often exceeding 102°F (39°C). This fever can be accompanied by severe headaches and body aches.

Rash:

Some individuals may develop a rash on their skin, which is typically maculopapular (red and raised spots) in nature.

Joint Pain:

Joint pain, known as arthralgia, is common in individuals infected with this virus, similar to the symptoms of chikungunya.

Fatigue and Weakness:

Feeling extremely tired and weak is another common symptom, which can persist even after the fever subsides.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms:

In some cases, patients may experience gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Prevention Measures

Mosquito Control:

As with dengue, controlling the mosquito population is essential. Use mosquito nets, screens, and repellents. Eliminate breeding sites by removing stagnant water from containers.

Protection:

Wear long-sleeved clothing and use insect repellent to reduce the risk of mosquito bites, especially during peak mosquito activity times, like dawn and dusk.

Community Efforts:

Encourage community involvement in mosquito control and awareness campaigns. Collaborate with local authorities to ensure effective vector control.

Travel Precautions:

If traveling to areas with known outbreaks, take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Why is Awareness Crucial?

While the ‘seven-day fever’ may not grab headlines like dengue or COVID-19, it poses significant health risks, especially in densely populated cities like Kolkata. Here are a few reasons why staying informed is vital:

Misdiagnosis:

Due to its similarity in symptoms with other viral infections like dengue and chikungunya, misdiagnosis can occur, leading to delayed treatment and potential complications.

Outbreak Management:

Timely identification and reporting of cases are crucial for effective outbreak management and the prevention of further spread.

Public Health Response:

Increased awareness can lead to better public health responses, including vector control measures and vaccination campaigns if available.

Personal Protection:

Knowing about the disease empowers individuals to take preventive measures and seek medical attention promptly when necessary.

The ‘seven-day fever’ outbreak in Kolkata is a stark reminder that emerging health threats can emerge at any time. While the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential not to overlook other health risks. By staying informed, following preventive measures, and actively participating in mosquito control efforts, we can collectively combat the spread of the ‘seven-day fever’ and protect the health of our communities. Vigilance, awareness, and swift action are our best tools in the fight against this viral menace.

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