Viral fever: Simple clinical clue
Voice of The Reader

Viral fever: Simple clinical clue

June 15, 2017


In connection with differentiating viral fevers from bacterial, a simple clinical clue is very useful. It is important to be certain of viral aetiology so that patient is not subjected to unnecessary and harmful antibiotic therapy. It is well-known that while antibiotics are useful yet there are dangerous side-effects and expenses are an important factor for majority. So, it is essential to use antibiotics judiciously.

Even in all the bacterial cases, many minor ones like mild throat infections which are very common, many a times, healing takes place without antibiotic; but in some bacterial like pneumonia, antibiotic therapy at the earliest is life-saving and there again the clue of rapid respiratory rate is very useful. Generally in adults a respiratory rate of above 40 per minute and above 60 per minute in children should make us verify pneumonia. Respiratory rate rises in very high fevers also.

To differentiate viral fevers, in earlier than seventies clinical method, it was clearly mentioned that normally pulse rate varies between seventy plus minus five beats per minute and rises at the rate of ten beats with each (F) degree rise of temperature except in viral infections where the rise of pulse in proportion to is slower. This clue of comparative bradycardia proved of tremendous help to me in saving many a viral from being subjected to unnecessary antibiotics. In viral, there is always a chance of secondary infection which may or may not require antibiotic, but then the pulse will rise and depending on the severity, the therapy can be initiated.

READ ALSO  Viral fever deaths continue to haunt Mysuru and Mandya

In later publications of clinical methods, this para had been avoided perhaps due to lack of space. I tried to propagate this point as much as I could. It was suggested by some colleagues that I should prepare a scientific paper giving data of number of cases in which I worked. In those days where each one of us had to attend 50 to 100 cases per day, it was not practicable to record such details but I wrote in health magazines and others.

So when there is a spurt in viral cases this clue can be utilised. On certain days we were so busy that there was no time to check pulse and temperature personally; then I utilised the assistance of nurse or dresser in adjacent room so that pulse and temperature and breathing rate was recorded and treatment given.

– Dr. Sarla Bhatnagar,

[Retired from UCIL Medical Hospital, Jadugoda], Yadavagiri, 13.6.2017

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Viral fever: Simple clinical clue”


Mysuru’s favorite and largest circulated English evening daily has kept the citizens of Mysuru informed and entertained since 1978. Over the past 41 years, Star of Mysore has been the newspaper that Mysureans reach for every evening to know about the happenings in Mysuru city. The newspaper has feature rich articles and dedicated pages targeted at readers across the demographic spectrum of Mysuru city. With a readership of over 2,50,000 Star of Mysore has been the best connection between it’s readers and their leaders; between advertisers and customers; between Mysuru and Mysureans.


Academy News Papers Private Limited, Publishers, Star of Mysore & Mysuru Mithra, 15-C, Industrial ‘A’ Layout, Bannimantap, Mysuru-570015. Phone no. – 0821 249 6520

To advertise on Star of Mysore, email us at

Online Edition: [email protected]
Print Editon: [email protected]
For News/Press Release: [email protected]