It’s dengue season and you find yourself awash with high fever, muscle pain and fatigue. After waiting for a couple of days when the fever continues unabated, your family suggests a visit to the general physician. You read about the symptoms of dengue on the Internet (and Ebola too, as there is an epidemic in West Africa and this is a globalized world after all). You worriedly make an appointment with the doctor. On arriving at the clinic, you see the string of patients sitting in a line against the clinic wall and resign yourself for a wait. You mentally congratulate yourself for bringing your Kindle along and settle into the one chair left vacant. After waiting for an hour and a half, the nurse sends you in. The doctor spends 10 minutes taking your history before you’re ushered out with a prescription for crocin, lots of fluids, and plenty of rest. You’ve taken all the research that you did to show your doctor and ask if you need to get any additional tests done but he dismisses the information, saying you have viral fever. Your suspicion that this is something more serious doesn’t leave you till the fever and all the other symptoms do, five days later. Read More
Sujata Kelkar Shetty, PhD, is a wellness consultant and clinical scientist trained at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, US.