Fever is a body temperature higher than normal but a number of serious illnesses that causes high temperature are called fever.
Temperature: it is very wise to take a sick person's temperature, even if he/she does not seem to have a fever. If the person is very sick, take the temperature at least each day. If there is no thermometer, you can get an idea of the temperature by putting the back of one hand on the sick person's forehead and the other on your own or that of another healthy person. If the sick person has a fever, you should feel the difference.
It is important to find out when and how the fever comes, how long it lasts, and how it goes away. This may help you identify the disease. Not every fever is malaria, though in some countries it is commonly treated as such. Other possible causes for example;
* Common cold, and other virus infection. The fever is usually mild. Ask if there is also sneezing or a sore throat.
* Typhoid. A fever that goes on rising for 5 days, and does not respond to antimalarials.
* Tuberculosis sometimes causes a mild fever in the afternoon. At night the person often sweats, and the fever goes down.
Note: in newborn babies a temperature that is unusually high or unusually low (below36°) may mean a serious infection.
To prevent or treat this fever successfully, it is important to know how to tell one from another.
Fever outstanding sign that is typical for each diseases:
Malaria is an infection of the blood that causes chills and high fever. It spreads through mosquitoes. The mosquitoes sucks up the malaria parasites in the blood of an infected person and injects them into the next person it bites.
It begins with feeling weak, cold and shivery as the temperature rises. Fever may continue up and down for several days, unless treated, with sweating as the temperature falls, and shivering as it rises again. Malaria gives fever every second or third day. The sick person feels more or less well on the days between.
Signs of Malaria:
* The typical attack has 3 stages;
1. It begins with chills, headache and often weakness. The person shivers or shakes for 15 minutes to an hour.
2. Chills are followed by fever, often 40° or more. The person is weak, and at times delirious (not in his/her right mind). The fever last several hours or days.
3. Finally the person begins to sweat, and his temperature goes down.
* Usually malaria causes fever every 2 or 3 days (depending on the kind of malaria), but in the beginning it may cause fever daily. Also, the fever sign may not be regular. For this reason, anyone who suffers from unexplained fever should have his/her blood tested for malaria.
* Chronic malaria often causes a large spleen and anemia(a person who has thin blood)
* In young children, anemia and paleness can begin within a day or two. In children with malaria affecting the brain(cerebral malaria), fits may be followed by periods of unconsciousness. Also, the palms may show a blue-gray colour, and breathing may be rapid and deep.
* if you suspect malaria or have repeated fevers, if possible go to a health center for a blood test.
* if chloroquine is usually effective, and tablets with 150mg base are used, adults should take 2 tablets twice a day for 3 days. Chloroquine tablets starts to work within 30 minutes. There is no need to begin with a chloroquine injection. The fever will settle in a day or two. Just complete the course of tablets.
* In some places there is malaria resistance to chloroquine, and a different medicine, like quinine may be needed. Get advice from the nearest health center.
* if a person who possibly has malaria begins to have convulsions or loss of consciousness, he/she may have cerebral malaria. Get to a health center urgently for an antimalarial injection.
How to avoid malaria
1. Avoid mosquitoes
2. Use netting treated with insecticide works best
3. Co-operate with the malaria control workers.
4. If you suspect malaria, get treatment quickly.
5. Destroy mosquitoes and their young.
6. Take anti-malaria medicines on a regular schedule.
Typhoid is an infection of the gut that affects the whole body. It spread from feces to mouth in contaminated foods and water. Of the different infections called fever, typhoid is one of the most dangerous infection.
Signs of typhoid:
* Cold and flu
* Sore throat
* High fever
* Weight loss
* Seek medical help
* lower the fever with cool wet cloths
* Give plenty of liquids eg juices, rehydration
* Give nutritious foods in liquid form
* Be sure drinking water is clean.
* Avoid contamination of water and food by human feces.
Similar to typhoid but different. Rash similar to that of measles, with tiny bruises. It is transmitted by bites of lice, ticks, and rat fleas.
Signs of typhus:
* Bad cold
* Typical rashes appears, first in the armpits and then on the body.
* Large painful sore at the points of the bite, and the lymph nodes near the bites are swollen and painful.
* Get medical advice: special tests are
* Give tetracycline, adults: 2 capsules of 250mg, 4 times a day for 7 days.
* Remove ticks from your dogs
* Kill rats. Use rat traps or cats
* Kill rat fleas. Do not handle dead rats burn them.
* Put insecticide into rat holes and nests.
Hepatitis A, B and C
Hepatitis A is an acute virus infection that harms the liver. There is usually fever, with marked loss of appetite at the onset. As the fever goes down, jaundice appears and the eyes turn yellow. It is more serious in older persons.
Not all people with yellow eyes have true
Signs of Hepatitis A
* Does not want to eat
* Sometimes there is pain on the right side near the liver or the lower ribs
* May have general body itching
* May have a fever
* Smell of food may cause vomiting
* The urine turns dark yellow
In general, the person is very sick for 2 weeks and remains very weak for 1 to 3 months.
* Antibiotics do not work against hepatitis
* The sick person should rest and drinks lots of liquids.
* Bury or burn the sick person's stools and keep him/her very clean.
* Care taker should wash his/her hands well.
* Follow all the guidelines of cleanliness with great care
This is more chronic than hepatitis A and more severe. It is usually spread when blood from an infected person get into the body of the another person.
It is spread by;
* Sharing needles or syringe with an infected person
* Ulcer on the genitals
It is generally called 'serum' hepatitis and is commonest where there is a drug abuse and prostitution. The jaundice may be followed by long term damage and even death.
An infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.
* Treatable by a medical professional
* Spreads easily
* Requires a medical diagnosis
* Lab tests or imaging always required
* Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
The virus is spread by contact with contaminated blood; for example, from sharing needles or from unsterile tattoo equipment.
Pneumonia is an acute infection of the lungs.
Signs of pneumonia:
* Sudden chills and high fever
* Rapid, shallow breathing
* Chest pain
* Cold sores often appear in the face or lips.
A very sick child who takes more than 60 shallow breaths a minutes probably has pneumonia.
* Antibiotics can make difference between life and death
* Ease the cough and loosen the mucus by giving the person plenty of water and having him breathe hot water vapors.
This is a disease of children and young adults. It usually begins 1 to 3 weeks after the person has had a strep throat.
Signs of rheumatism
* Joint pain especially in wrist and ankles, later in the kneel and elbows.
* Lumps under the skin.
* See health worker
* Give penicillin, 400,000 unit tablets, 1 tablet 4 times a day for 10 days
* Treat strep throat early with penicillin for 10 days.
Brucellosis ( Undulant fever)
This is a disease that comes from drinking fresh milk from infected cows or goats.
Signs of Brucellosis:
* It starts with fever and chills
* There may be swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin.
* Get medical advice
* Drink only cow's or goat's milk that has been boiled.
* Be careful when handling animals especially if they have any cuts or scrapes.
* Cooperate with livestock inspectors who check to be sure your animals are healthy.
Childbirth fever (Infection after Giving Birth)
Sometimes a mother develops fever and infection after childbirth, often because the midwife was not careful enough to keep everything very clean.
Signs of childbirth fever:
The signs of childbirth fever are: chills or fever, headache or low back pain, sometimes pain in the belly, and a foul-smelling or bloody discharge from the woman organ.
* Antibiotics are needed urgently.
All of these illnesses can be dangerous.
In addition to those shown here, there are many other disease (especially in tropical countries) that may cause similar signs and fevers. These illnesses are not always easy to tell apart. Most are serious or dangerous. When possible seek medical help
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