High fever, runny nose, headache and sore throat - one in four Delhittes is down with flu these days. Thanks to the delayed monsoon and the sudden dip in temperature, viruses are wreaking havoc on the health of residents in the national Capital.
"There is a spurt in the cases of viral pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infections. Post-monsoon, we usually expect a rise in such cases but this time it has been unusually high," said Dr Monica Mahajan, senior consultant, department of medicine at Max Healthcare, Saket.
"There is a clustering of cases in households where one family member becomes the primary patient and then others get infected," she said.
Doctors said the symptoms may range from mild - sore throat and runny nose - to very severe with high grade fever, headache, cough with sputum and in some cases, pneumonia. Most hospitals are also registering patients with severe viral pneumonia or pneumonia with bacterial infection.
"Flu, loose motion, dengue, malaria, pneumonia - we are getting a variety of cases since the past fortnight," said Dr RK Singal, head of department, internal medicine at BL Kapoor super speciality hospital.
"The timing of the monsoon has been really crazy. There is an unusual rise in the number of gastric diseases apart from pneumonia," said a senior gastroenterologist, who did not wish to be named.
Children and the elderly, diabetics, kidney and heart patients, and pregnant women are more vulnerable to complications and need to be extra cautious.
"It is best to visit a physician rather than indulge in self-medication and antibiotics should be kept at bay as they don't help in viral fevers," said Dr Mahajan.