Infections on the prowl

Polluted Surroundings

Infections on the prowl

Thanks to the increasing pollution and sudden change in weather conditions, doctors across City hospitals are seeing more and more cases of acute asthma, chest and lung infections. These infections are triggered by stagnant water and uncleared garbage in the City.

Metrolife interacted with a few doctors to understand the reason for the surge in illnesses and to a section of Bangaloreans to know the kind of precautions they are taking to prevent these diseases.

Indifference of government bodies in completing pending road projects not only triggers traffic jams but leaves underground pipes broken leading to leakage of water and subsequent stagnation of water. Garbage at every nook and corner of the City have been adding to the growth of bacteria. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has confirmed that pollution levels in the City has touched 100 per cent. 

Vaman Acharya, chairperson of KSPCB, emphasises that it is not industries but the transport sector that is contributing to the increasing pollution. “The fine dust (from pending road work) enters the lungs and settles down in the lower portion of the lung. This causes lung-related disorders. And diesel doesn’t burn as easily as petrol and leaves unburnt carbon in the atmosphere. Unless people learn to carpool or start using public transport, we don’t see a reduction in pollution,” reasons Vaman.

“If Delhi can switch to compressed natural gas for its public transport, why can’t we?” he asks. Doctors have confirmed increasing cases of lung-related diseases in the City. They say unclean surroundings is the main trigger factor. Dr Sunil Narayan Dutt, senior consultant, ENT, Apollo Hospital, feels that fluctuating weather conditions unleash a host of illnesses and in the present condition, he says, there are at least 400 allergies in the air.

“Cold weather is perfect for the growth of psychrophilic bacteria and this is what causes cold, cough, sinusitis and threat to tonsils,” explains Sunil. He also points out, “The upper airway of the nose gets affected and this results in lung-related problems. The best thing is to refrain from eating cold stuff. One should consume fresh food.”    

Kalpana Janardan, a senior consultant of Internal Medicine, says they have been witnessing increase in the cases of bronchial infection, pneumonia, cold, cough and fever, “What happens is that people end up having so many antibiotics that soon the body develops resistance to antibiotics. More than medical intervention, what is essential is to keep the City clean and drain out stagnant water,” advises Kalpana. 

But ordinary people don’t believe that the government agencies can rid the City of garbage. Therefore, they have started taking precautions to stay away from the ill-effects of pollution. Manoj, an IT professional, points out that his workplace is about 20 kilometres from his residence, “I spend a lot of time driving but I try to avoid travelling during peak hours, especially in the evenings. If the dust levels are high, I prefer wearing a mask. Even a handkerchief comes handy,” reasons Manoj. 

Rajeev EM, a marketing professional, feels strongly that garbage issue and increasing pollution can be handled effectively with better planning. “Big apartment complexes must have their own garbage processing units and if employees working in IT companies take the bus or cab provided by the company, there would be less vehicles on the road,” he sums up. 

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