City doctors witness rise in cases of fluUpdated: Feb 29, 2020 00:08 IST
An unusual rise in day temperatures and fluctuations in weather conditions has caused a spike in flu cases in the city.
According to the doctors, there has been a four-time increase in cases of cough, fever and cold in the last three weeks. “On average, we generally get 10-15 patients a day complaining of viral infections with headache and fatigue. But in the last three weeks, the number has gone up to 40-50 patients owing to the weather,” said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of BYL Nair Hospital and director of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) run-major hospitals.
Doctors said that sudden changes in the temperature provide ideal conditions for flu causing pathogens. “With alteration in temperature and additional factors like air pollution and humidity affect people’s health,” said Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant general physician, Bombay Hospital.
Doctors have advised people to be observant as symptoms of a seasonal influenza like cold, cough and fever are similar to that of coronavirus. With rising awareness about the new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, more number of patients are flocking the hospitals for consultations under out-patient-department (OPD).
“We are sensitising people through pamphlets and hoardings to approach doctors, in case, of symptoms similar to seasonal viral infections as a precautionary measure,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health director, BMC.
The city and suburbs recorded a 3 degrees Celsius decline in temperature between Thursday and Friday.
The suburbs recorded 35.1 degree Celsius, 2.7 degrees Celsius above normal as compared to 38.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday, over 6 degrees Celsius above normal. Similarly, in south Mumbai, the temperatures dropped from Thursday’s 35.4 degrees Celsius to 33.2 degrees Celsius on Friday.
Even the night temperature in the suburbs on Friday was 18 degrees Celsius, a 2.4 degrees Celsius from Thursday. South Mumbai recorded 20.2 degrees Celsius, a 1.8 degree Celsius drop from Thursday.
The air quality index (AQI) entered the ‘poor’ category on Friday recorded at 244. It is expected to drop to 227 (poor) on Saturday