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Rise in cases of viral fever with dip in temperature, say doctors

Viral allergic bronchitis caused by exposure to cold is also on the rise, the doctor said.

delhi Updated: Dec 17, 2017 00:12 IST
Anonna Dutt
A woman warms herself from the cold beside a fire.
A woman warms herself from the cold beside a fire.

With a dip in temperature in Delhi, doctors say they there has been a significant rise in cases of viral fever and cold-related ailments.

“There has been an increase of nearly 30% in the number of people coming in with fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough and cold, especially in the last two or three days after the temperature dipped significantly,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant for internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.

Viral allergic bronchitis caused by exposure to cold is also on the rise, the doctor said.

“At this time, when people come in with fever, we assume that it is a viral infection because that is what is doing the rounds. If it does not resolve on its own in three-to-five days and shows symptoms consistent with dengue or typhoid, we get them tested. The hospital is getting sporadic cases of both dengue and typhoid as well,” said Dr Srikant Sharma, senior consulting physician at Moolchand Hospital.

The increase in the viral infections usually happens with a change in the season.

“When the temperature drops suddenly, the body is not accustomed to it, which is why there is a rise in the number of viral infections during this time every year,” said Dr Chatterjee.

What should you do?

Gargle is crucial in keeping the infections away, doctors say.

“The viruses usually enter the body through the throat, multiply and then move on to either the stomach or the blood stream. So, if you have any cough or irritation in the throat, gargle with salt water every four hours. The heat and salt make the environment non-conducive for the growth of a virus,” said Dr Sharma.

“Cover up properly. Make sure than you have enough layers on before you step out of the house. Also, do not step out to the streets directly, wait in the lobby or in a slightly covered area after stepping out of your home or office to let the body adjust to the temperature outside,” said Dr Chatterjee.

“Also, if you have a viral fever, take rest. Do not go to office and other crowded places because you risk spreading the infection,” said Dr Sharma.

When to go to a doctor

“In most cases, steam inhalation and gargling for the throat and an anti-allergic medicine for runny nose will help. People can take a paracetamol if the fever is high, but if the fever is accompanied with breathlessness and yellow or green sputum, a doctor must be consulted immediately,” said Dr Chatterjee. Children and the old should go to the doctor early.

How to avoid going viral

Dos

•Do not leave home without covering up properly

•Make sure to cover your head and neck

•Drink warm liquids throughout the day

•Eat a balanced diet with lots of seasonal vegetables

Dont’s

•Do not step out of a room or a car with a heater without switching it off and waiting for the temperature to drop

•Do not exercise outside early in the morning

•Do not use handkerchief as they are kept in pockets and can spread infection, use tissues instead

•If you have viral infections, do not go to crowded public places