7 Causes of Fever During Monsoons and Tests to Diagnose Them

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During monsoon, the change in the weather opens up a new window for bacteria and viruses to flourish, thereby, making us sick. Puddles of rain water, stagnant unclean water and water logging become ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, bacteria and viruses.

Causes of Fever During Monsoons

Most of the monsoon illnesses show high fever as the common symptom, however, it is not just the mosquitoes that lead to fever. There may be other factors at play. Here we share 7 common diseases causing monsoon fever and the tests you can take to diagnose it.

Influenza

Influenza is one of the most common and highly contagious diseases in India. It spreads through airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes) or by touching a contaminated surface (like a door knob). It usually affects the nose, throat and in some severe cases causes pneumonia.

The fever can reach from 100 to 104 degree F with aching muscles, headache, fatigue and weakness, along with sore throat, persistent cough, and nasal congestion.

Signs & Symptoms

Influenza

Test

The standard tests for confirming influenza virus are viral culture nasal or throat secretions or a Reverse Transcription- Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) which are time consuming. Recently, a rapid diagnostic test for influenza has been launched in the United States which gives the result in 30 minutes.

Malaria

Malaria is one of the most common monsoon-related diseases. It is spread by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito that breeds in stagnant water.

Along with high grade fever, chills and shivering, the patient may also experience sweating and body aches.

Signs & Symptoms

Malaria

Tests

WHO recommends peripheral smear for malarial parasite (identifying malarial parasite under the microscope) and/or rapid malaria antigen detection test.

Dengue

Dengue is another monsoon-related disease caused by the bite of mosquitoes known as Aedes Aegypti.

Dengue infection typically presents with high grade fever associated with severe headaches, eyes, joint & muscle pains and skin rashes.

Signs & Symptoms

Dengue Signs and Symptoms

Tests

The most important tests for detection of dengue are: NS1 Antigen (between 2nd to 5th day of fever) and IgM Dengue Antigen (after the 5th day of fever)

Tests to monitor treatment efficacy include: Hematocrit and platelet counts

Typhoid

Typhoid is a common waterborne disease during the monsoon season. It is transmitted by consuming contaminated food and water.

Typhoid fever shows a gradual rise over the course of each day and drops by subsequent morning. This fever is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhoea and headache.

Signs & Symptoms

Typhoid

Tests

The gold standard test for typhoid is a blood culture but since it may take up to 3 to 5 days for the result to come, doctors often rely on additional tests like Typhidot Antigen and WIDAL.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is transmitted through consumption of contaminated water and food. The onset is usually vague with a patient complaining of fatigue and loss of appetite which is followed by jaundice.

Signs & Symptoms

Hepatitis A

Tests

Hepatitis A virus is diagnosed by testing for Hepatitis A IgM antibodies.

Chikungunya

A bite from infected Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes causes Chikungunya. The symptoms of this fever can be severe, debilitating and long lasting.

Signs & Symptoms

Chikungunya

Tests

Chikungunya infection is confirmed via Chikungunya IgM antibodies. The challenge is that this test correctly identifies the infection only after the 5th day of fever. Therefore, early diagnosis is based on clinical judgement only.

Dysentery

Poor hygiene results in Dysentery which is an intestinal infection that usually lasts for 3-7 days. It causes severe diarrhoea with blood, and in some cases mucus in the stool.

Signs & Symptoms

Dysentery

Tests

Doctors recommend Blood test and stool test (stool culture) to determine the nature of the infective organism.

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