Ten days ago, Umashankar Shukla, 55, who has a medical history of chronic respiratory diseases collapsed with breathlessness and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Shukla is among the increasing number of patients in the city whose respiratory diseases such as throat infection, pneumonia and asthma have aggravated because of frequent dip in temperatures in the city.
“Although he suffers from chronic respiratory diseases, his cough increased two weeks ago and we had to admit him to hospital as he gasped for breath,” said Kamladutt Dubey, Shukla’s relative, who admitted him to a Kurla nursing home. On Thursday, Shukla was discharged and has been advised to take precautions in this weather.
“We are seeing a rise in cases of viral fever and throat infection, which are leading to secondary infections such as pneumonia and asthma attacks,” said Dr Shahid Barmare, consultant physician at Kohinoor Hospital. “Pollution is a major contributing factor because the dust settles down and worsens respiratory infections.”
“Small children, old people and patients who are suffering from immuno-compromised illnesses (diseases such as tuberculosis or treatments such as chemotherapy, which reduce immunity), need to be careful and should avoid going out early in the morning. The effect of drop in temperatures of the last two or three days will show next week,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, consultant physician.
“Smokers too are at risk of contracting respiratory infections because their lungs may be weak,” said Dr Barmare.
Doctors also advised Mumbaiites to drink water even if they do not feel thirsty. “During the winter season, people do not feel thirsty and consume less water. This may lead to dehydration and urinary infections,” Dr. Samdani added.