With the onset of peak summer coupled with frequent changes in temperature, patients suffering from vomiting, diarrhoea and viral fever are queuing up at various city hospitals here.
Since no preventive measures — such as clean drinking water and proper waste management — are in place at many localities of the city, the situation becomes even grimmer.
Dr RL Bassan, civil surgeon, Jalandhar, said the problem got aggravated due to the shortage of water, particularly in rural areas.
"Our bodies react to changes in weather. Most of the diseases during this season are caused due to impure drinking water and unhygienic conditions in the localities. Due to this, problems like diarrhoea and food poisoning occur," Dr Bassan said.
He claimed that even as the cases related to summer diseases had not really gone through the roof, people with such complaints had started arriving at the civil hospital.
He said there was an increase in cases of patients suffering from viral fever, cold and cough due to sudden changes in weather.
"People should report to the authorities concerned if there is no drainage system in place or they face any sewerage-related problem in their areas. Those living in the slum areas should use chlorine tablets in drinking water," he said.
Dr Kanwarjeet Singh, gastrointestinal surgeon, Healing Touch Gaestro Surgery and Gynae Hospital, said, "Last year, there were many patients suffering from these problems this month. But as the summer got delayed this time, the number of patients is less. It is better to take precautions.
One should always wash hands before eating, carry water bottle while travelling, use filtered water or drink boiled water if filter is not available."
Eating cut or exposed fruits and vegetables can also cause such ailments. Children and the elderly people are fast affected by vomiting and diahorrea," he added.
Dr Alok Sehgal, gastroenterologist at Patel Hospital, said, "Change in weather leads to many gastro-related problems. Sanitary conditions, habits and water storage are important factors. One should maintain optimum fluid intake to avoid dehydration."
Experts say most of the summer diseases can be kept away by taking simple precautions such as avoiding eating outside, especially street food, avoiding eating gol gappas and half-baked Chinese food items etc.
Dos and Don'ts
Drink boiled or chlorinated water. Drink bottled water when outside home.
Don't eat raw food outside.
Eat fresh home-cooked food
Wash hands frequently, before eating, after visiting the washroom