Changing weather, air pollution spurs surge in respiratory illnesses: Doctors | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Changing weather, air pollution spurs surge in respiratory illnesses: Doctors

Oct 18, 2023 07:32 AM IST

The October heat is also leading to dehydration, headaches, sudden drops in sugar levels, urinary tract infections and gastroenteritis, doctors said

Mumbai: The change in weather clubbed with the drop in air quality levels has led to respiratory illnesses among Mumbaikars, especially elderly citizens and children, health experts said, adding that on the other hand, dengue and malaria cases remain unabated in the city.

MOn Tuesday, even as the overall air quality level in the city was in the ‘moderate’ levels, several areas – Chakala, Mazgaon BKC, Malad West, Sion, and Deonar – had their AQI in the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ levels (Anshuman Poyrekar/ HT PHOTO)
MOn Tuesday, even as the overall air quality level in the city was in the ‘moderate’ levels, several areas – Chakala, Mazgaon BKC, Malad West, Sion, and Deonar – had their AQI in the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ levels (Anshuman Poyrekar/ HT PHOTO)

Dr Honey Savla, internal medicine consultant, Wockhardt Hospitals-Mumbai Central, said that in the past two to three weeks, there has been a notable increase in OPD cases for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and bronchitis.

Dr Samrat Shah, a consultant internist at Bhatia Hospital-Tardeo said respiratory conditions are often aggravated by two factors – environmental, such as smog, weather changes, construction sites around and host factors like smoking, asthmatic, and atopic conditions. “We’ve received as many as eight patients, up from just one or two last month. These are all triggered due to environmental factors such as smog and weather changes,” he said.

On Tuesday, even as the overall air quality level in the city was in the ‘moderate’ levels, several areas – Chakala, Mazgaon BKC, Malad West, Sion, and Deonar – had their AQI in the ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ levels.

Rakesh Kumar, former director of NEERI, said that the poor air quality is largely owed to the extent of construction activity in the city exacerbated by the minimal winds and high humidity. Although the poor visibility is not entirely due to the pollution, the atmospheric conditions brought on by the end of the monsoon reduce the dispersal of the pollutants in the air.

The October heat is also leading to dehydration, headaches, sudden drops in sugar levels, urinary tract infections and gastroenteritis, doctors said.

“We advise people to take the flu vaccine and pneumococcal pneumonia, especially senior citizens and immunosuppressed patients. People should drink boiled water, avoid eating outside food, wear masks in crowded and poorly ventilated places, follow hand and cough hygiene, and stay hydrated,” Dr Vimal Pahuja, physician (internal medicine), Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, said.

Dengue, malaria cases remain consistent

Meanwhile, the city reported four to five dengue cases daily. “Presently, about five dengue patients require hospitalisation due to symptoms such as low platelet count, persistent fever, and dehydration resulting from elevated haemoglobin levels. All these patients are currently in a stable condition,” Dr Arora said.

From October 1 to October 17, Mumbai has seen 492 dengue cases and 418 malaria cases. The city has also seen 30 swine flu cases.

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