Gurgaon: Cases of respiratory illness up by 20% post Diwali in Gurgaon
Doctors said due to a fluctuation in temperature in the morning and evening, cases of respiratory illness have gone up in Gurgaongurgaon Updated: Oct 22, 2017 21:55 IST
Despite a ban on the sale of firecrackers in place and the Punjab and Haryana high court setting a time limit (from 6.30pm to 9.30pm) for residents to light crackers on Diwali night, city hospitals reported a spike in cases of respiratory illness after the festival.
Health experts said after Diwali, there was a sudden spurt in the concentration of suspended particulate matter in the city air, making it difficult for residents to breathe. Since PM 2.5 consists of sulphate, ammonia, nitrates, black carbon, mineral dust and sodium chloride, oxygen becomes a rarefied commodity in the air, thereby making it hard for residents to breathe.
The rise of PM 2.5 in the city’s air has worsened asthma and other respiratory problems, as it settles inside the thin passage of lungs making it difficult for the organ to function. Since Diwali, the out patients department (OPD) at the government hospitals in the city have been reporting a steady stream of patients with lower respiratory tract infection, acute asthma and breathing problem.
“We have reported a 20% rise in cases of respiratory illness since Diwali. The level of pollutants in the air is high in the mornings and evenings, posing a major health hazard for children and the elderly,” BK Rajora, chief medical officer, Gurgaon civil hospital, said.
Doctors were of opinion that as there is a fluctuation in temperature in the morning and evening, cases of respiratory illness in the city has gone up significantly.
Dr Manoj Goel, director, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “Footfall of people with respiratory distress has seen a 15-20% rise post Diwali as compared to last year. This trend could largely be attributed to a significant difference in temperature in the day and night. While the temperature remains on the cooler side early morning and at night, the mercury inches up as the day progresses.”
Concerned over a rise in the number of patients with breathing problems, doctors advised residents to use face masks and also carry prescribed medicines at all times.
“There has also been a rise in cases of chronic respiratory diseases flaring up since Diwali. Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have reported a steady worsening of their condition. There has been a surge in fresh diagnosis of asthma by up to 20% since July this year. People with pre-existing asthma have reported an exacerbation, requiring steroids and nebulisers for relief,” Arunesh Kumar, senior consultant, respiratory and pulmonology, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon, said.
“Overall, I feel there has been a substantial increase in the number patients with acute deterioration of their chronic respiratory diseases. I advise my patients to use masks when they step out and keep their reliever inhalers handy at all times,” Kumar said.