The Symptoms of Intermittent Fever - Ague-Chills And Fever

COLD STAGE: Yawning; stretching of the limbs; headache; nausea, and perhaps vomiting; nails blue; goose-flesh; thirst; shivering, or violent shaking; back-ache; pain in the calves of the legs; the chill lasts thirty minutes to three or four hours.

HOT STAGE: Fever comes on gradually; headache increased; skin hot; sometimes lasts three to twelve hours.

SWEATING STAGE: The fever is followed by copious perspiration, during which headache and other symptoms subside; the patient goes to sleep and wakes up feeling quite well, and remains so until the next attack.

This is one of the most common of all the forms of malarial disease. The above symptoms may be varied more or less in different cases. For example, the chill may be lacking entirely, or it may be replaced by other nervous symptoms, as convulsions. This is most likely to occur in children. Cases in which the characteristic symptoms of the chill are not marked, are sometimes termed "dumb ague." Several varieties of ague are described, according to the length of time between the paroxysms. When the patient suffers a dull attack, the disease is called quotidian. The form in which it occurs every other day is known as the tertian type. When the chill occurs every fourth day it is said to be of the quartan type. Cases occur which come on the fifth, sixth, and even the thirtieth day. Occasionally, double types occur. A person suffering with the double quotidian type has a paroxysm twice a day. In the double tertian type, the paroxysm may occur twice in the same day, or the two sets of paroxysms may occur on different days, when we have an imitation of the quotidian form. The quartan variety, or "four-day ague," as it is sometimes termed, is often quite difficult to cure. The paroxysms may occur at a regular hour on stated days, or an earlier or later hour. The chill nearly always occurs in the forenoon, or sometime between midnight and noon. The most obstinate form of the disease is that in which the paroxysms occur with great regularity.

Among other symptoms may be noted a muddy complexion, coated tongue, often yellowish dinginess of the white of the eyes, enlargement of the spleen, and tenderness of the spleen and liver. When the spleen becomes greatly enlarged, as is often the case with chronic malarial affections, it is known as "ague-cake."