Mumbai is witnessing a surge of an unusual fever with symptoms of malaria or dengue. This has started worrying the doctors. According to various media reports, such cases have been reported for almost two months now. Doctors suspect that it could be a form of mild COVID-19, which is completely curable at home.
The fever lingers for 4-5 days, and the body temperature fluctuates from 99 to 102 degrees. Symptoms include the appearance of rashes on the fourth and fifth days of the infection, heaviness of the eyes, persistent headaches, and sleeplessness. Strangely, the laboratory investigations are negative for any vector-borne viral infections. However, there is a decrease in the white blood cell (WBC) counts and an increase in the red blood cell (RBC) count. The platelet count remains within acceptable limits, and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and the C-reactive protein (CRP) tests are also raised.
Dr. Sanjith Saseedharan, Consultant and Head of Critical Care, SL Raheja Hospital, Mumbai, says that almost none of these cases have required hospitalization or intensive care. “We are getting many cases where symptoms of high-grade fever include chills, body aches, and sleeplessness. In some cases, patients have signs of non-itchy rash, which looks like pink rash all across the body. All usual investigations, which include malaria, dengue, and Chikungunya, are negative in these cases “, he added. He further explained that PCR investigations from the nasopharynx are also conducted, and these are negative too. “Overall, there is no reason to press the panic button or any additional regulations, as there is a 100 percent recovery from the illness.” According to health experts, almost 30 percent of patients have reported protracted fatigue for almost a month.
However, many doctors have asked citizens to be alert and seek medical advice at the onset of the symptoms. Hopefully, the cause for the sudden rise in such cases will be identified at the earliest, and clinical intervention will be arranged for the patients.
(Input from various media sources.)
(Rehash/Dr. Sushmitha Ganguli)