Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The unusual prevalence of fever cases, which are normally reported during the monsoon season, in the first two months of 2023 has left health experts baffled. A whopping 4,37,550 cases of fever have been reported in government hospitals across the state since January 1. The symptoms range from formation of rashes to prolonged cough. Schoolchildren have been hit the worst, with many falling sick multiple times. 

Though dengue, leptospirosis and other diseases have also been reported in the state in the past two months, the numbers are nowhere near the fever cases. As for Covid, there were 40 confirmed cases in February. “February is usually associated with summer diseases such as chicken pox, conjunctivitis and food-borne ailments. Fever cases are seen only from July. The prevalence of fever cases at present calls for a virological study,” said Dr Purushothaman Kuzhikkathukandiyil, professor of paediatrics in MES Medical College, Malappuram. 

He said a private virological study had revealed the presence of unusual viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human bocavirus (HBoV) and others in the affected persons,” he said. Health experts said children who showed immunity during the Covid pandemic were suddenly exposed to a host of viruses, leading to persistent fever now. Though most of the cases have been manageable, there have been a few instances of people experiencing high fever and rapid worsening of health with multiple organs affected.

“The number of people who started experiencing breathing trouble after fever has also risen,” said Dr P S Shajahan, professor of pulmonary medicine at Government TD Medical College in Alappuzha. “Usually, viral fever is associated with cough and breathlessness for a short period. Now, patients are coming to our hospital complaining of breathing issues six to eight weeks after their fever subsided,” he said.

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