Doctors fear that the number of patients with viral infections and respiratory problems will increase because of the recent rains and dip in temperature.
“The circulation of viruses increases during the winters and the immunity of the body goes down. This is the reason we see an increase in cases of fever and cough and cold. With the rains and sudden dip in temperature, I am expecting to see more patients coming in with these problems over the next two weeks,” said Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant, internal medicine at Max Super-speciality hospital, Saket.
He said there was an increase in such cases during the last month when the temperature in the city dipped as low as 2 degrees Celsius.
Apart from the seasonal flu, doctors also report an increase in cases of conjunctivitis and chicken pox.
“Sudden temperature changes and the increase in the levels of particulate matter in the atmosphere also result in aggravation of respiratory symptoms,” said Dr Srikant Sharma, senior consulting physician at Moolchand hospital.
Keeping oneself covered is the best way to protect against such seasonal diseases. “It is important to keep the head and neck covered while stepping out of the house. People who use heaters in their house or cars must switch it off a while before they step out. If the temperature difference is more than 8 degrees Celsius, they are likelier to catch cold,” said Dr Sharma.
The doctor also suggests that people must keep drinking something hot throughout the day. “The flu virus usually multiplies inside the throat before spreading. If people keep drinking tea or soup, the virus will not be able to multiply,” said Dr Sharma.
Hand-washing is the best way to keep flu at bay. “During winters, people tend to not wash their hands frequently because it is cold. But, it is important that they do it,” said Dr Sharma.
Doctors suggest that people with flu should use tissues instead of a handkerchief. “Tissues can be disposed, but handkerchief is kept in the pocket with the virus spreads infection,” he said.