Wheat fever


Grain fever is associated with malaise, high fever, chills, muscle and joint pain. It occurs in grain elevator workers and anyone exposed to large amounts of grain dust.

This is not an allergic reaction like what happens with farmer’s lung. It is also called Toxic Organic Dust Syndrome /TSOD/ and is a fairly common disease that mostly affects farmers. TSS is also referred to as Toxic Organ Dust Syndrome, Hay Fever or Pulmonary Mycotoxicosis.

This means it is caused by inhaling fungi, toxins released by bacteria, or pollutants in dust such as dust mites. Some farmers develop chronic asthma from prolonged exposure to the antigens.

Grain fever can also develop rapidly within 4 and 8 hours after exposure with flu-like symptoms. They usually resolve in about 2-3 days without treatment.

What are the symptoms?

• Chest tightness;
• Chills;
• Wet cough;
• Muscle aches;
• Low fever ;
• runny nose;
• headache;
• loss of appetite;

Other diseases that are caused by exposure to grain dust:

• occupational asthma;
• allergic contact dermatitis;
• chronic bronchitis;

Treatment of wheat fever

The condition of the person who has reacted to the grain dust improves within a few days. Active observation is all that needs to be done on the part of the affected person, to prevent possible deterioration.

If you are a smoker, it is time to quit. Your doctor can prescribe medication or give you counseling, offering you suitable ways to quit this bad habit.

Self-treatment at home

• you can use cough suppressants if you waste too much time resting and can’t get your work done. But coughing is a protective mechanism to clear the lungs and therefore if possible avoid using cough suppressants.
• You can also make a telephone consultation with your GP if not you can manage the cough and he will prescribe an expectorant medicine to loosen the mucus.
• Take over-the-counter or over-the-counter medicines for pain, fever and malaise, only as directed by your personal physician.
Cold steam or humidification of the air in the room where you spend most of your time will help to -easy discharge of mucous secretions.
• The frequency and intensity of coughing usually increases at night. If possible, sleep in a semi-upright position on a chair with an adjustable backrest or put several pillows under your back so you will relieve coughing fits when you sleep.
Take a break if you think you need it.

You should seek medical attention immediately if:

• Your sputum becomes purulent, you cannot control your temperature, or you feel unwell for a long time. This is especially important if you are elderly or your body is weakened by another illness.
• You can’t control your cough with syrup and can’t sleep at night.
• You start coughing up blood;
• You develop pain that gets worse and cannot be controlled with painkillers.
• Have a very high temperature above 38.9 degrees Celsius and that does not fall for more than 2 days.

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