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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: vomitting,light headed, lack concentration and headache

 rvgarcia - Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:13 am


My husband is 23yrs old he is overseas, has been having this viral symptom for over 4 days now and each day its getting worse he says it all started with a headache then got worse with vomiting, dizziness, lack of concentration, and quick unsteady pulse of 105 over 140, light headed when he gets up rapidly and cough. They have a medic but they will not give him anything until they know exactly what it is.

Thank you so much
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:24 pm

User avatar Hello,

Sorry for the delay in response and hope your husband is feeling better now.

These symptoms and signs are concerning and direct clinical examination is essential. Gastroenteritis and electrolyte imbalance seem to be the likely causes of his symptoms. Gastroenteritis is mostly due to viral infections although bacterial infections are not uncommon.

Fever in general causes acceleration of the heart rate but if it is out of proportion exclusion of cardiac affection is essential. ECG and echocardiograph are of choice.

Metabolic disturbances due to vomiting, diarrhoea, or inadequate intake or supplement for the loss would make him generally very weak, can not concentrate well and loses his muscle power. In addition dehydration may have a bad effect on his kidney . Electrolyte imbalance has an effect on the heart rate as well as the CNS. But proper neurologic examination is important.

Direct clinical examination is essential as well as thorough history to identify specific exposures that may give idea about of the possible source and the possible site of infection.

His doctor may recommend blood or stool culture based on the examination results. Other blood tests to check for electrolytes and CBC are important too.

Broad spectrum antibiotics may be initiated till the final results are out (even if he thinks it is viral, he may start so). Adequate fluid and electrolytes replacement are essential.

Hope you find this information useful.
Please keep us updated.

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