The difference between day and night temperatures has prompted doctors in the state capital to prescribe citizens safeguards against respiratory ailments ahead of the festive season.
The weather in Patna has become a bit unpredictable this year following the retreat of monsoon, though winter is still over a month away.
The difference between maximum and minimum temperatures these days has been in the range of 12ºC. On Wednesday, the maximum temperature was 32.3ºC and the minimum was 20.8ºC. The minimum temperature on Tuesday was 20ºC against the maximum temperature of 32.4ºC. The day before, the difference was 11.4ºC (maximum 33ºC, minimum 21.6ºC).
The trend is prevalent since October 9, when the maximum temperature was 32º C and the minimum 23º C.
“During such weather conditions, the most common ailment is cough and cold coupled with fever. People complain of sneezing, nasal discharge and chronic inflammatory diseases of airways like asthma,” Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) director Dr Arun Kumar said. He added that children and the elderly were more susceptible to such complications.
“It has been found that once the temperature goes down, people suffer from breathing problems. This also happens in case of a fall in blood pressure. As the temperature comes down, there is a contraction in blood vessels. This leads to a fall in blood pressure. Preventive measures are a must to avoid any serious complication,” the IGIMS director said.
Dr Rajiv Ranjan, a physician at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), said: “It has been generally found that cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease rise with the change in temperature. The main manifestations are chronic bronchitis — a respiratory infectious disease.”
Usha Sinha, a resident of Patel Nagar, said: “My four-year-old son, Pratik, is suffering from viral fever. We are giving him anti-pyretic medicines such as paracetamols.”
India Meteorological Department director (radar) Ashish Sen said the high moisture content because of the change in weather pattern was causing discomfort for the residents.
“At present, the maximum moisture content is 60 per cent and the minimum is 45 per cent. The weather will be stable once the maximum moisture content comes down to 50 per cent and minimum to 45 per cent,” he added.
The westerly wind is setting over the state with the withdrawal of monsoon. “It is expected to cover the entire state within a fortnight, which would lead to drying up of the atmosphere,” Sen said.