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DNA India
17 February 2011
By Somita Pal
Mumbai, India

While the city continues to witness fluctuating temperatures, doctors are again seeing a rise in number of upper respiratory problems.

But what is worrying them is the increasing number of people going for self–medication this time.

Dr Sunil Dalvi, general physician, Lilavati Hospital said, "People should avoid self–medication. They should not only visit a doctor but also complete the course so that they don’t get it (fever, cough and cold) again."

The OPD is still getting a number of winter diarrhoea and viral dysentery cases. Also, the fluctuating weather has led to a rapid build–up of winter pollution, leading to 20–25% rise in respiratory problems in the city.

"It has become so common that people take medication that was prescribed earlier. Popping pills without consultation with the doctor should be avoided," said Dr Vijay Yewale, convenor of immunisation committee.

The 20–25% increase in respiratory problems this season is mainly due to vehicular pollution. "We are getting repeated respiratory cases. Since the temperature is low, pollutants get suspended in the air for longer periods. This raises the pollution level. Children are the worst affected," added Yewale.

Meanwhile, the weather department has blamed the chilly weather in the north for the fluctuating temperatures in Mumbai. "There has been some rain in the northern parts. Weather changes in the city are subject to the change in the direction of winds. Since the northerly winds were powerful for the last few days, they brought the temperature down in the city too," said Dr RV Sharma, deputy director general of Indian Meteorological Department in Mumbai.

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