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Times of India
02 July 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Pune, India

City’s Warm, Damp Weather Brings On The Chills, Ills
If you are suffering from cold, cough and fever or know of others down with bigger ailments like jaundice, gastroenteritis or even malaria or dengue, blame it on the weather.

The intermittent rain, fluctuating temperature and dampness have increased the footfalls at doctors’ clinics and hospitals in the city. Patients are mainly complaining about respiratory infection, viral fever and aching joints.

Others with monsoon–related ailments, either waterborne or food–borne like gastroenteritis and jaundice, or the mosquito–transmitted malaria and dengue have begun trickling into hospitals.

"Seven people suffering fromndwes have been admitted to D Y Patil Medical College and Hospital in Pimpri in the last few days. We see three to four patients with viral hepatitis at our out–patient department (OPD) every day," said paediatrician Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of Indian Medical Association, who is with the hospital.

General practitioner Avinash Bhondwe said, "Respiratory infection constitutes 50 per cent of the total patients visiting my clinic these days. Damp and cloudy weather is causing bronchial asthma and aggravating joint pains. Viral diarrhoea and amoebic dysentery cases are rising."

"There are patients with running noses, chest congestion and bodyache because of the erratic temperature. The occasional showers coupled with damp and cloudy weather worsens matters," said Arun Jamkar, dean of Sassoon General Hospital. Patients with gastro–enteritis, and many of them severely dehydrated, are coming to hospitals, added Jamkar.

"The weather is warm and damp. The erratic rise and fall in temperature is leading to skin–related problems, fungal infection in ears and the groin and formation of pus in the ears. These are common infections, but not communicable," said ENT surgeon Sameer Joshi of Sassoon Hospital.
City’s Warm, Damp Weather Brings On The Chills, Ills
"The city has reported 15 cases of malaria and 12 cases of dengue in June. Intermittent rains leading to water stagnation is primarily the reason," said Sadashiv Patole, head of the insect control department of the PMC.

Prevention, doctors said, is the only stay–well mantra. "Don’t eat out and drink boiled water," is R R Pardeshi, PMC’s deputy health officer’s advice . Avoid water–borne diseases by staying away from road–side food. " Juices and eatables made or stored in the open can be contaminated. Drink clean distilled or treated water," said Jamkar.

Also avoid cut fruits and foodstuff from hawkers. Gastro–enteritis may actually be a lesser worry. Contaminated food and water can lead to other more serious ailments like jaundice, said Agarkhedkar.

And keep a watch for fever. "Don’t pop a pill and go to work. Avoid self–medication and seek medical help at the earliest if you have fever, bodyache or a running nose,’’ said general practitioner Radheshyam Jadhav.



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