As the monsoon breeze ushers in the pleasant weather pouring relief from the scorching heat waves, it brings along the unpleasant bacterial and viral infections. One of the common medical concerns that affect children and adults alike – viral fever, is a monsoon menace that changes everything pleasing about the weather into all things displeasing.
Viral fever is characterized by a spike in the normal body temperature that is caused by viral infections. Broadly speaking, any fever caused due to virus is termed as viral fever. People with weak immunity are generally the first ones to catch flu and cold virus when weather changes.
Viral fever is contagious and is transmitted from the infected people as they cough, sneeze, yawn, or even as they talk. If the virus enters another person’s body (via nose or mouth), it’ll be just a matter of hours (16-48 hours) to get infected. So, it’s prudent to steer clear of the infections and practice important preventive measures.
The symptoms of viral fever are generally ambiguous, and as the symptoms may mislead, check for the tip-offs to know for the viral fever. The major symptoms include:
- Fever with chills
- Intermittent fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent fever with no long-term relief from medicines
- Severe pain around joints
These red flags are an eye-opener and indicate that you need to see a doctor if persist for more than three days.
Although self-medication is not encouraged generally, few home remedies are considered helpful in tackling viral fever. You can try:
1. Tulsi leaves
Tulsi leaves are an effective home remedy owing to its anti-bacterial, anti-biotic, and fungicidal properties.
How to consume: Take few tulsi leaves and boil it in water. Mix in it half teaspoon of clove powder. Bring this solution to a boil until the water is reduced to half. You can consume this water in regular periods to fight off the infection.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of ginger help ease the viral fever symptoms and provide instant relief.
How to consume: Mix a teaspoon of dry ginger with a teaspoon of honey and consume it. You can also prepare tea by boiling in a cup of water 1 teaspoon each of dry ginger, turmeric, and black pepper powder along with little sugar. Once the volume of the tea is reduced to half take it off the heat. Consume this solution/ tea to get relief from the viral fever symptoms.
3. Rice Starch
Rice starch is one of the traditional remedies that aid in boosting immunity. It is a healthy drink and works as a diuretic agent.
How to consume: Cook rice until it is half cooked. Strain the rice water and add to this liquid a pinch of salt. Drink the warm concoction to alleviate the viral fever symptoms.
4. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds are rich in phytonutrients and vitamins essential in enhancing the immunity system. Also, the antibiotic compounds and volatile oils in the coriander seeds make it a potent natural remedy to relieve viral fever.
How to consume: Simply boil 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds in a glass of water. Add a little milk and a teaspoon of honey/sugar to it and your coriander tea is ready! Allow it to cool and sip on it twice a day to reap the benefits.
5. Fenugreek Water
Fenugreek is a powerhouse of medicinal elements such as diosgenin, saponins, and alkaloids. These elements make it an effective remedy to treat viral fever.
How to consume: In half a cup of water overnight soak a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds. Strain the solution the next morning and sip on the solution at regular intervals to get relief from viral fever.
Along with the home remedies mentioned here, gargle with saltwater twice a day to soothe your sore throat.
When to See a Doctor?
Viral fever can be dangerous if the body temperature shoots up to a certain level. Be careful if the temperature is:
- 104 degrees F for children 2 years of age or above
- 103 degrees F for adults
Further, check with your doctor at once if you notice any symptoms such as:
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Chest pain and/or trouble breathing
- Frequent vomiting
In children, watch out for the following warning signs:
- Irritable and unusually lethargic
- Fever for longer than three days
Viral fever symptoms are quite similar to other infections and water-borne diseases that occur in monsoon, so check with your doctor to get it diagnosed correctly. The doctor may recommend the following:
- Blood test
- Physical exam
- X-ray (based on medical history)
Usually doctors prescribe medicines and advise rest. Antibiotics are avoided in viral fever and viral infections. As a part of home-care tips you may be advised to:
- Take hot water bath, as it can provide relief from body aches.
- Get proper sleep and keep yourself warm.
- Use a nasal decongestant or inhale steam for nasal congestion.
- Keep yourself well hydrated.
Something better than tackling the contagious viral fever is to prevent it overall. Some simple yet effective tips to keep the infections at bay this season include:
- Maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands frequently and properly.
- Eating home-cooked food and avoiding cut fruits and vegetables from outside.
- Staying hydrated.
- Avoiding crowded places or sharing food/drinks with any infected person.
Viral illnesses are likely to keep one confined to their cozy nests, but with little care and attention you can prevent the annoying viral fever and enjoy the blissful rains. So, happy monsoons!