What is Chamki Fever?
Chamki fever commonly known as encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain commonly caused by a viral infection that affects the central nervous system which hampers the neurological function.
Chamki fever or encephalitis is of two types:
- Primary encephalitis: It is when the virus directly affects the brain
- Secondary encephalitis: It is when due to a weak immune system, infection anywhere else in the body infects the brain.
What Causes Chamki Fever?
The inflammation of the brain in chamki fever is caused due to the following factors:
- The inflammation is caused either by an infection invading the brain or by the immune system attacking the brain.
- The causative agents of acute encephalitis are the herpes virus, enterovirus, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, eastern equine virus, tick-borne virus, etc.
- Encephalitis can also occur due to bacteria, fungi or parasites, chemicals, toxins, and other non-infectious agents.
- It can also occur due to the rabies virus and childhood infections.
Factors Which Can Increase The Risk Of Occurrence Of Chamki Fever Are:
- Age: Some types of encephalitis are more common in certain age groups such as young children and older adults are at a higher risk of viral encephalitis
- Weakened Immune System: People with a compromised immune system such as those suffering from HIV/AIDS are at an increased risk of suffering from chamki fever.
- Season Of The Year: Mosquito and tick-borne infections are more common in summers in certain parts of the United States.
- Geographical Region: There are certain geographical regions where mosquito or tick-borne infections are common.
Symptoms of Chamki Fever
Symptoms of Chamki Fever or Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AEC) are:
- High fever
- Sensitivity to light
- Stiff neck and back
- Personality change
- Memory loss
- Problems with speech and hearing
- Aches in muscles and joints
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of consciousness
The condition commonly affects children, and they show the symptoms such as (1):
- A bulge in the skull
- Poor feeding
- Body stiffness
How To Prevent The Occurrence Of Chamki Fever?
The best way to prevent the occurrence of chamki fever is to avoid exposure to the viruses which can cause the disease. This can be done in the following ways:
- Practice good hygiene can help stay away from getting infected by the virus. Washing hands frequently with soap and water especially when using the toilet and before and after meals.
- Do not share the tableware and beverages.
- Educate children good habits so that they practice good hygiene.
- Before traveling to any particular destination, get consulted by the doctor and get the vaccinations advised.
- The disease can also be prevented by minimizing the exposure to mosquitoes and ticks.
- Wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants if going outside in an area where there are long grasses ad shrubs.
- Apply mosquito repellent to clothes and skin.
- Spray insecticides on the clothing, tents, and other outdoor gears to kill the ticks and mosquitoes.
- Refrain from unnecessary activities in the places where mosquitoes are common. If possible avoid being outdoors from dusk till dawn i.e. at a time when the mosquitoes are most active.
- Eliminate standing water from a place such as flowering pots, gardening roofs, old tires, and clotted gutters, as they become a breeding ground for the mosquitoes.
Treatment of Chamki Fever
Chamki fever or mild encephalitis can be treated by increasing water intake and bed rest. Certain anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to treat the infection.
In the case of viral encephalitis antiviral medicines are used.
The medicines should not be taken without consulting a doctor.
In the case of severe infection, the above treatment does not help. Supportive care such as breathing assistance, intravenous fluids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and anti-convulsant medicines might be required. In some patients, to reduce swelling, corticosteroids are also given.
Children infected from chamki fever need care in the hospital to avoid any mishap.