Chill brings relief from dengue, but watch out for lung ailments

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 27, 2014 00:32 IST

Even as you enjoy the unexpected chill, there is more good news. The dip in mercury has lowered the risk of transmission of dengue, city doctors said. However, with the sudden change in weather, you need to guard against respiratory ailments.

“The risk of dengue has reduced, but is still significant. We have seen multiple people from the same family and locality taking ill,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, director, infectious diseases department, Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road.

Civic officials said cooler weather will curb the transmission of dengue. Colder temperatures are less conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes.

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department has maintained dengue cases are under control, doctors from private hospitals said there has been a sporadic rise in cases.

“We still have dengue patients, but cases may drop by next week if the weather continues to remain cool. However, the sudden change in weather has resulted in respiratory tract infections in many,” said Dr K Bajan, physician, PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim.

Bajan said he had treated five patients with severe respiratory distress triggered because of recent weather fluctuations.
Severe temperature variation in the morning and evening hours makes people vulnerable to infections, said experts on infectious diseases.People with asthma and bronchitis tend to suffer the most, as their symptoms only worsen with weather fluctuation, said doctors.

Dr Shrivastav said patients who are prone to respiratory infection should consider vaccination for influenza and pneumococcal infection.

“People with existing airway diseases, elderly, people on steroids and those who have recurrent episodes of chest infection should be vaccinated. Health-care workers should also be vaccinated,” he said.

Anywhere between 5% and 20% people who have upper and lower respiratory tract infections developed complications resulting even in pneumonia, which requires hospitalisation, said doctors.

Doctors said cases of conjunctivitis are also on the rise because of the weather change, as it is the most conducive period for the spread of the viral infection.

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