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30% spike in children falling sick; Pune docs blame weather

The number of OPD patients has gone up by 30 per cent this summer, the reason behind the same is sudden shift in climate which has become conducive for the viruses

pune Updated: Apr 17, 2019 16:12 IST
Nozia Sayyed
Nozia Sayyed
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,outpatient department (OPD),paediatricians
Patients coming in do not display flu like symptoms such as cough, cold, chills and fever. Instead they are presenting only high grade fever. (Image used for representational purpose)(HT PHOTO)

With 30 per cent increase in the number of children in the outpatient department (OPD) compared to last summer, paediatricians blame sudden climate change and the unexpected showers for the same.

Dr Prashant Udavant, senior consultant paediatrician, Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “The cases reported are unusual in nature. Patients coming in do not display flu like symptoms such as cough, cold, chills and fever. Instead they are presenting only high grade fever. Diagnosing such viral infection needs expertise and tests.”

He said, “The number of OPD patients has gone up by 30 per cent this summer, the reason behind the same is sudden shift in climate which has become conducive for the viruses. There is a H1N1 influenza virus in the air, however, we have been detecting cases of influenza A and B viruses too, that were confirmed by performing tests in certain cases to determine the form of virus.”

Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director, Bharati Vidyapeeth hospital and Medical Research centre and also president of Indian Academy of Paediatrics (Pune) who said, “Children have been coming to us with extremely high fever at 103, 104 degrees and the age group mainly affected is between three and ten years. Some are also presenting low platelet count which has been posing as a cause of concern.Parents need to be extra cautious as the weather changes are extreme and can also lead to hospitalisation.”

Whereas Dr Dilip Sarda, past president of Indian medical association Maharashtra (IMA) observed, “Patients are taking longer to recover than usual, which is another new presentation we have observed. The number of OPD patients has risen and children as old as 12 are contracting the infection. Basically the climate has become conducive for the virus, and hence the spike in cases. We have never observed such a drastic change in pattern of symptoms, before and such cases at this time of the year are a shock, as usually it is during the monsoon season that we see a spike in viral infections.”

Sarda added, “In order to avoid escalation of infection, parents must get their children checked up if their fever does not reduce in three days. Parents must ensure that their children keep hydrated, and ensure total bed rest for full recovery.”

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 16:12 IST