Flying Bug-Borne Illness (Part I)

     Mosquito-Bourne Disease is often confused with Mental Malaise. In fact, one symptom of mosquito-bourne illness is fever and malaise.

     Malaise is a general feeling of being unwell, either emotionally or physically, or a combination of the two. Almost any medical or emotional condition can bring on feelings of malaise.

     Long-term (chronic) conditions, such as anemia (low red blood cell count) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), may cause malaise in addition to such conditions as infections, cancers, arthritis, kidney diseases, lung diseases, or other illnesses. Short-term (acute) conditions, such as a urinary tract infection or viral respiratory infection, may also lead to malaise.

     Malaise can be associated with depression and fatigue. Depression is defined as feeling blue, miserable or sad. You may occasionally experience mild depression and that is normal. Fatigue is characterized by a lack of energy and feeling tired. Again, you may occasionally experience mild fatigue and this is normal. However, long-term depression, often called clinical depression, and chronic fatigue can be characterized as malaise and may indicate more serious emotional or psychological problems.

     Stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet are all factors that worsen malaise.

     Malaise that is related to an acute condition, such as an illness that is caused by an infection, may require emergency attention.



     Fever is an increase in your body’s temperature to a range that is above normal (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Normal body temperature can change throughout the day by a few degrees. Various factors can increase your body temperature including eating, physical activity, medications, surrounding (room or outdoor) temperature, or a strong emotional response.

     Part of your body’s natural defense response to infection is to raise the body temperature. Most pathogens survive best at normal body temperature. Therefore, raising the temperature is your body’s natural way of killing the infectious agent or preventing its spread.

     An oral temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit in a child and over 99 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit in adults is considered a fever. Fever can be caused by fairly benign conditions, such as a cold, or by serious conditions, such as influenza and meningitis. Infant teething, recent immunization, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and some cancers can cause a fever as well.

     Despite their beneficial contribution to fighting infection, an extremely high fever can lead to seizures (called a febrile seizure) in children. These seizures do not usually cause permanent harm, but you should visit your health care professional if your child experiences a seizure. Seek emergency care if a seizure lasts more than a couple of minutes.

     If your fever lasts more than 48 hours, is associated with other alarming signs, or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.


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Posted on June 19, 2011, in Public Health & Safety. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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