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Times of India
04 June 2010
New Delhi, India

Majority Of Patients Children, Temp Fluctuations Spreading Viral Infections
From blazing heat to dust filled air, there seems to be no respite for Delhiites. On Thursday, dust haze clouded the sky and made things difficult for people with respiratory problems. City doctors say that there has been a 20% increase in the OPD cases in the last two days and a majority of them are asthma patients.

“The air is filled with suspended dust particles. In the last two days, we have seen a surge in asthma attack cases and, unfortunately, a majority of them are children. Dust particles irritate the airways and result in swelling. As a result, asthma patients suffer from respiratory distress. We have seen a lot of infants developing breathing difficulty due to the weather. We have to put them on mass cell stabilisers or anti–allergics. It’s important to constantly monitor their condition,” said Dr Sanjeev Bagai, CEO and senior consultant, paediatric, Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre.

Upper respiratory disorders and allergies are very common in this weather. The weather on Thursday gave many Delhiites a tough time. “I’m allergic to dust. I had a tough time driving to office today and since morning I’m sneezing uncontrollably,” said Savita Kumar, who works with a software firm in Delhi. Doctors say that those allergic to pollen and dust should cover themselves properly before going out. “Asthmatics should cover their face properly, ideally with a wet handkerchief, so that dust particles don’t enter the respiratory system. It is also important to carry inhalers,” said Dr GC Vaishnava, head of the department, internal medicine, Fortis Healthcare.

Due to temperature fluctuation, the weather is conducive for spread of viral infections. “Change in humidity helps in the transmission of virus. We are seeing a lot of cases of viral infection, conjunctivitis, ear infection, etc. Old people and children need to be very careful. Asthmatics should ensure that airway doesn’t get constricted. They should take steam and use inhalers,” said Dr MP Sharma, head of the department, internal medicine, Rockland hospital.

According to Dr D K Kesar, director internal medicine, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, “There has been a dip in temperature, but it is still very warm during daytime. It is important to drink a lot of water as we sweat a lot during this weather.” Hospitals are still reporting cases of cholera, diarrhoea and gastritis.

Delhi Dust Fallout
Haze leads to rise in asthma cases
The dust haze which clouded Delhi’s skies on Thursday made things difficult for asthmatics. City hospitals reported a 20% increase in upper respiratory tracts infections and seasonal allergies
Common Medical Problems
Reasons
  1. The Suspended dust particles in the air
  2. The Pollen movement
  3. The Fluctuations in temperature
  4. The Change in humidity
Precautions to be Taken
  1. Asthmatics should avoid going out or cover nose and mouth with a wet cloth
  2. Cover your face properly while going out
  3. Carry an inhaler
  4. Wash your eyes regularly
  5. Avoid sudden changes in temperature

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