20% rise in winter ailments among kids | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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20% rise in winter ailments among kids

For two days, four-year old Aastha, had a runny nose and a cough. On Tuesday, her pediatrician diagnosed the condition as pneumonia. HT reports.

mumbai Updated: Dec 15, 2010 02:29 IST
HT Correspondent

For two days, four-year old Aastha, had a runny nose and a cough. On Tuesday, her pediatrician diagnosed the condition as pneumonia.

"Initially it looked like a viral infection but when she came back to the clinic she had breathing difficulty and high fever," said Dr Vijay Yewale, pediatrician, who has a children's hospital in Navi Mumbai.

With the city witnessing a dip in temperature, city doctors are observing an increase in the number of cases of respiratory tract infections such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis as well as malaria and influenza.

"Flu cases increase during winter. We have seen at least 15 % to 20 % increase in the number of children coming with respiratory tract infections, common cold, fever, soar throat and wheezing," said Dr Yewale.

While flu is not a serious ailment, those with underlying lung, heart or kidney disease can develop complications. Such individuals should be protected against flu by influenza vaccination, said doctors. Doctors in civic run Nair Hospital have been getting more children for treatment of bronchial asthma.

"In the last one week, 10 to 15 children have been admitted in the pediatric ward with bronchial asthma. As compared to last month, this figure is almost double," said Dr Mukesh Agarwala, professor and head of the unit, department of paediatrics.

Dr Khushrav Bhajan, specialist in infectious diseases, is seeing at least three to four cases of respiratory tract infections and winter flu in Hinduja Hospital.

"There has been an increase in the worsening of asthma and winter flu cases in the last one week," said Dr Bhajan.

Dr Bhajan said there has also been rise in the number of malaria cases in the last two weeks. "Six out of 10 patients have been diagnosed with malaria. This time we have seen low platelets counts in malaria patients," he said.

"Delayed rains and intermittent rainfall in the end of winter could be the reason for the rise in malaria cases."