Mumbai: Surge in chickenpox, viral fever cases among children

Doctors are seeing six to seven children daily with symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat which are common problems

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Monday, July 04, 2022, 11:37 PM IST
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Mumbai: The city witnessed a sudden surge in the number of children suffering from chickenpox and viral fever along with hand, foot, and mouth disease. Following this, the doctors have urged parents to watch for the symptoms of chickenpox and hand, foot, and mouth disease as both are viral infections caused by different viruses. Doctors are seeing six to seven children daily with symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat which are common problems.

A senior paediatrician from the private hospital said they have been seeing seven to eight cases a week and most of them have symptoms of fever, cough, and sore throat which are common problems and are manageable at home. We prescribe some normal medicine for fever and the recovery rate is also good. Parents should not panic if their children have any symptoms and consult a doctor.

Dr Bhupendra Awasthi, head of the paediatrics department at Surya Hospital, said, “Average two-three cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease are reported among children for the past 15 days. Apart from fever, cough is common due to climatic conditions. Schools are open and kids are coming in contact with each other, so there is a chance of transmission but nothing serious. It's like normal flu and kids recover well.”

Meanwhile, doctors are also witnessing a spike in influenza cases. We are all worried about Covid-19, but not flu and the common cold. Covid cases now mimic influenza symptoms of high fever, cold, and throat pain. The only difference between the two is Covid is leading to weakness and persistent cough.

P D Hinduja Hospital & Research Centre, consultant paediatrician, Dr Nitin Shah, said they have been receiving several cases of fever among children owing to very hot, humid weather. Most of these viral fevers are respiratory infections like fever, cold, cough and sore throat. Some of them could be Covid but they are not tested as the symptoms are mild and most of them are presumed to be flu-like illnesses. In most of the cases, influenza usually peaks during summer just before the monsoons.

“We are also seeing a lot of cases of diarrhoea. Diarrhoea in infants can be rotavirus but we have a vaccine against rotavirus so that may not be the case,” he said while asking parents to ensure that their child is well hydrated with home liquids and WHO’s ORS.

He further said that they are also witnessing a lot of children complaining of skin infections like boils, and abscesses. A few weeks after the schools reopened, they saw cases of hand, mouth and foot diseases which is again a contagious viral infection caused by an enterovirus. “The appearance is like that of chickenpox with a red rash, fluid-filled rash mainly in feet, hands and in the mouth as ulcers,” he mentioned, while advising to maintain proper hygiene and consumption of boiled water.

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