Nip in The Air, But Don’t Let Virus Catch You
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18 October 2011
By , Durgesh Nandan Jha
New Delhi , India
Elderly And Young Particularly Vulnerable To Viral Infections With The Onset Of Winter
The cases of viral fever, upper respiratory infection and allergy due to change in weather are on the rise in the national capital. With the onset of winter, there is wide variation in the day and the night temperature which, doctors say, is most suitable for bacterial growth and transmission of viral infection. The elderly and the children are more at risk of getting infected. The doctors said people should avoid crowded places, frequently wash their hands and consult a physician if fever and sore throat last for more than 48 hours.
Dr A B Dey, professor and chief of geriatric services at AIIMS, said, “The elderly are at high risk of developing influenza and pneumonia during the winter season. So we are advising them to get vaccination for the same.” He said that to avoid exposure to cold people can postpone their morning walk by an hour.
According to the meteorological department, the difference in night and day temperature on Monday was 15 degrees Celsius. “The maximum temperature was 33.4 degrees while the minimum was 18.4 degrees Celsius,” said a senior met official.
Dr M P Sharma, head of the gastroenterology and medicine department at Rockland hospital, added that mosquitoborne diseases like dengue and chikungunya have increased significantly. “This is the peak season for dengue cases. People need to be more careful now,” said Sharma.
Neeta Sharma, who works with a publishing company, said she has been suffering from fever for over two weeks. “My lungs feel like sandbags and I am coughing all the time. Every morning I have to gargle twice just to be able to talk, I feel choked otherwise. I am using a nasal spray and anti-allergen, but it gives me relief only for a few hours,” she said.Dr Monica Mahajan, senior consultant medicine department at Max hospital, Saket, said self-medication should be strictly avoided. “If high fever continues for more than 48 hours, one must consult doctor. Taking medicine without consultation and delaying treatment can lead of aggravation of the existing condition,” she said.