Time to keep infections at bay

Time to keep infections at bay

With winter setting in, infections are on the rise. Typhoid, dengue, malaria, skin infections, gastroenteritis, virus cold and cough are doing the rounds.

The uncleared garbage and increased construction activities in several parts of the City are aggravating health problems like skin and lung-related allergies.

The doctors’ advice is to stay hydrated by drinking only boiled water and keeping away from food on the streets. They caution that people will have to be more disciplined when eating out. The thrill of eating street food must be regulated. They say the first step to fight all diseases is to eat right and eat what’s in season.

Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, chief clinical nutritionist and head of department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Apollo Hospitals, points out that diet plays an important part in preventing illnesses. She feels it is imperative to consume food that helps in building immunity. “Avoid refrigerated food and eat only what is fresh and hot. Consume fresh fruits and vegetables. This weather is perfect for bacteria to multiply, so stay away from eating food off the carts,” adds Dr Priyanka.

Eating food sold in carts and junk food, reasons Dr Priyanka, aggravates the chances of contracting water-borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera. “The carts are unhygienic and most of the time, even the water used is not clean,” she says. Dr Priyanka also thinks it helps to take small doses of ginger and basil leaves, “This indirectly builds immunity,” she adds.

The cold weather has all sorts of viruses doing the rounds which resembles a common cold but maybe the symptom of some other virus. Dr EV Raman, consultant ENT and head and neck surgeon, Manipal Hospital, points out that it’s not only cases of common cold but ear and throat inflections have also increased. He says the sudden change in temperature and cold drafts have many people feeling uneasy. “A lot of people come in with a runny nose, throat infection and bouts of sneezing. If the symptoms persist, it must be shown to a doctor but otherwise simple precautions help. Avoid taking antibiotics at the drop of a hat. Self-medication must be avoided at any cost,” he urges. Dr Raman feels children below the age of five years are prone to contracting ear infections. “Keep the ear covered at all times and stay away from eating cold food for it triggers throat infections,” she adds.

Most people are turning to home remedies to cure simple ailments like cold and cough. Usha Kumar, a senior professor at the Mount Carmel College, says she’s allergic to allopathy so she takes home remedies to cure simple ailments.

“The simple home remedies have helped me a lot. I wear clothes that are a blend of woollen and cotton and eat foods that are in season. I also stay away from air-conditioned spaces,” she notes. There are a few youngsters like Sneha Rao, an engineering student, who has decided to refrain from eating cut-fruits and chaats. “I used to eat at the carts outside college almost every evening until I came down with typhoid. I have decided to control my eating out,” she concludes.

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