The sudden fall in temperatures and the accompanying haze over the past 10 days in the city has led to a 30% rise in viral infection cases.
The number of people turning up at clinics with high fever, cold, cough and other respiratory infection symptoms is increasing.
"Since last week, the number of patients complaining of viral infection has risen by 30-40% everyday. Most people are coming in with flu-like symptoms, including cough, cold, high fever and loss of appetite," said Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant, internal medicine, Max Hospital, Saket.
"There is an increase in the number of bronchitis cases - both viral or allergic - too. Instead of affecting the throat, the allergen or virus is affecting the lungs leading to a dry cough," he added.A change in weather always triggers viral infections, especially in Delhi, which experiences extreme temperature in summer and winter.
"The sudden drop in temperature is extremely bad for people with asthma or an underlying lung disease. Elderly people are likely to suffer more than their younger counterparts," said Dr S Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.
Over the past week, admissions are 10% higher with a 15- 20% rise in clinical consultations because of flu, dengue, malaria and typhoid.
Complaints of respiratory problems - suggestive of asthmatic symptoms or acute bronchitis - have also gone up.
Even people with no history of smoking or allergies are complaining of bronchitis or lung infection.
"Patients with existing heart condition, smokers and those with chronic asthma are experiencing breathlessness and chest and lung infections. There is an approximate rise of 25- 30% in our patient load," said Dr Anoop Misra, director of the department of diabetes & metabolic diseases, Fortis Hospitals.
"For the last one month or more we were getting cases of malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya and typhoid but now there is an equally high number of cases of respiratory tract infections," said Dr SP Byotra, senior consultant, Gangaram Hospital .
"The haze is triggering a chain of allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to dust, smoke and pollen grains. Their health problems are exacerbated when these allergies lead to super-added infections of mostly the respiratory tract, leading to cold, cough, wheezing and fever," Dr Byotra added.