Winter chill gives rise to respiratory infections in Capital: Docs

With the chill in the weather continuing, cases of respiratory tract infections have been on the rise in the past few days, said doctors.

Most of the cases reported in the outdoor patient department (OPD) are suffering from viral infections, said doctors.

The number of patients admitted at the hospitals are mostly those suffering from such infections, they added. Asthma patients were found to suffer from increased attacks and had to be admitted in extreme cases.  

“Ninety five per cent of the patients at the paediatric OPD are suffering from upper respiratory tract infections. These are mostly cases of viral infection. In most of the cases, the patients are suffering from viral fever accompanied by sore throat.

This pattern will continue till the end of January or early February,” said Dr Alok Agarwal, paediatrics head, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital.

Preventive measures

Exposure to cold in the early hours of morning should be avoided. Parents should take more precautions in giving extra layer of clothing to school-going children, said experts. Very few cases of diarrhoea have been reported in the past few days, doctors said.

“Upper respiratory tract infections are most common during this season. So children suffering from asthma needs to be careful. besides avoiding outside food and maintaining a high standard of hygiene, precautions should be taken to not be directly exposed to cold,”
infromed an AIIMS doctor.  

Children vulnerable

Lok Nayak Hospital has been receiving increased number of cases of bronchiolitis – a chest infection.

“Children under the age of 1 year are most vulnerable to bronchiolitis, which is inflammation of the bronchioles. An increased number of infants are suffering from this infection during this season,” said Dr A P Dubey, head of paediatrics, Lok Nayak Hospital (LNJP).

At least 50 per cent of the patients at the LNJP OPD and those admitted are suffering from viral infections, said Dr Dubey. Patients suffering from asthma are prone to more frequent asthma attacks during this time.

“Those suffering from asthma are suffering from repeated attacks in this weather. In some cases, the patients are being admitted. The recuperating time is between three to five days.

In a few other cases, we are keeping the patients under observation for a few hours and then discharging them,” said Dr Dubey.
DH News Service

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