UAE Covid-19: Does every case of fever mean coronavirus?

Dubai - In case of fever, the patient needs to be isolated and needs to document his temperature and also consult a physician immediately.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Sat 6 Feb 2021, 6:25 PM

Last updated: Sat 6 Feb 2021, 6:39 PM

With the spike in coronavirus positive cases and fatalities across the world, people are now rushing to get Covid test at the slightest of itch in the throat or fever.

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While fever remains one of the most common symptoms of contracting Covid-19, not everyone who gets fever is infected with the novel coronavirus, explained doctors. Dr Karthikeyan Dakshinamoorthy, specialist internal medicine at NMC Royal Hospital – DIP, said that fever is a manifestation of any infection or inflammation and does not always mean that one has contracted Covid-19.

“If one gets fever, it depends on his symptoms that will decided that whether he or she should take a Covid test. Fever with runny nose, cough and loss of smell or taste means one needs to isolate himself from others. If the patient has come into contact with a Covid positive person then he or she should go for covid test otherwise they should have a symptomatic management initially and can go for Covid test if symptoms worsen.”

He added that in case of fever, the patient needs to be isolated from others and needs to document his temperature by a thermometer and also consult a physician immediately for further management.

As per the data released by the World Health Authority (WHO) fever, along with fatigue and a dry cough, is a hallmark of the Covid-19 infection. Dr Rehab Farahat, general practitioner at Bareen international Hospital – MBZ City, Abu Dhabi, said: “ The WHO has also introduced other common presentation of Covid-19 including: dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains ,sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, rash on skin and discoloration of fingers or toe. “

In case a person develops fever, Dr Farahat said it is advisable to take paracetamol, and increase intake of fluid, besides isolating oneself at home. However, if the symptoms deteriorate, it is essential to see a doctor, she added.

You are technically considered down with fever when your body temperature is above 100.4 F (38 Celsius), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explained Dr Hammad Khan emergency physician at Prime Hospital – Dubai. “This can be due to change in weather, persistent use of cooling devices, roaming bare chest in cold wind (cold exposures), Influenza (seasonal). If it is Covid, then expect other associated features like loss of smell, severe tightness in chest with difficulty in breathing and / or abdominal cramps with nausea/vomitting.”

“In case of fever, first isolate yourself, secondly, rest well, take anti-fever medicines and keep yourself hydrated, avoid cold drinks and instead take hot drinks such as soup and tea. In case there is a contact with Covid positive patient then one needs physician support and covid test,” he added.

Advising people not to stress out if they get fever, Dr Hesham Elsyed Ahmed Gadelkarim, specialist internal medicine at International Modern Hospital, Dubai, said fever is the rise of body temperature above normal range which is above 37.5 degrees.

“Fever can develop due to common cold and simple pharyngitis or even bronchitis with fever and getting fever does not mean one has for sure got Covid. For fever management, first step is to consume paracetamol according to bring down the fever level, even using up to 1g every six hours for adults. One must also ensure that he or she takes proper rest and adequate fluid and food.

When asked should the person go for Covid test once he or she gets fever or wait for it to subside, Dr Hesham said: “Not all patients with fever are advised to go for PCR test, instead taking rest and psychiatric assistance is more important. But, in case the fever continues to linger and/or there is an increase of temperature, patients are advised to consult primary care physician.”

First aid for fever:

> Take paracetamol and rest

> Increase intake of fluid

> Isolating oneself at home

> Take hot drinks such as soup and tea

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KT file photo by Shihab
KT file photo by Shihab

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