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Written by Dr.Swati Rajagopal

With the sudden change in weather over the past few weeks, hospitals across the city are witnessing an increase in the number of viral fever  cases, including viral gastroenteritis. Hospital authorities say the rising footfall is due to the nip in the air. “The city is known for its great weather, but the recent change in climate has caused a surge in cases of viral fever. Most of them are respiratory infections, ranging from mild flu-like illness to severe respiratory distress. The symptoms include high fever, headache,cough, runny nose and body ache. These usually subside in a week. Children and the elderly are more susceptible to these illnesses. People who are already suffering from respiratory complaints like bronchial asthma may have an exacerbation of the underlying illness when they catch the viral infection,” says Dr Swati Rajagopal — consultant, infectious diseases at a city hospital — who sees an average of 7-10 cases of fever with respiratory tract infections every day.
Dr L Sreenivasa Murthy — senior consultant, internal medicine, at a city hospital — says, “The most common diseases encountered during the monsoon season are viral fever, dengue fever, flu, malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Patients, who suffer from flu, visit the doctor with complaints of a runny nose, nasal stuffiness, headache, body pain and tiredness. To avoid such diseases, it is important to follow hygienic healthy habits such as washing hands regularly, using tissue paper instead of a handkerchief, keeping the surroundings clean, without any artificial water collection in plastic bottles, broken pots etc., around your house and workplace.”

Elaborating more on prevention and control, Dr Swati says, “Individuals, who suffer from viral fever, should stay at home. If children have respiratory complaints, they must take off from school. Handwashing, appropriate cough etiquette and disinfection of equipment used by the infected individuals could help prevent the spreading of infections. It is important to avoid travel when one is suffering from viral fever.”

Experts also warn of dengue. “During the monsoon season, there is a high chance of people suffering from dengue fever. Once a patient is diagnosed with the condition, the platelets count fluctuate. They are advised to avoid papaya juice and kiwi fruit as the consumption of these can negatively affect their throat and lead to further health problems,” says Dr L Sreenivasa Murthy.

Tackling a cold:

  • Decongestants, steam inhalation, control of fever by paracetamol, adequate hydration and rest.
  • It is important to avoid over the counter painkillers.
  • If the symptoms are unrelenting, it is important to consult a health care provider.
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