The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 29 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Ailment agony in Celsius see-saw

- Patients queue up at clinics, docs suggest cure with hot soup

Successive days of subnormal minimum temperature after a relatively warm spell has triggered a spurt in ailments in the city.

Long queues of patients complaining of fever, sore throat and congestion at clinics have become a trend over the past few days. The city experienced a sharp dip in temperature over the past week, triggering ailments.

Sunday recorded a minimum temperature of 5.6°C, three notches below normal, and a maximum temperature of 16.3°C, six degrees below normal.

A week before, the minimum and the maximum temperatures were 13°C and 22°C, respectively.

“The sudden dip in temperature has affected a lot of people in the city,” said physician Diwakar Tejaswi. “In the past one week, the number of patients has increased by 10-15 per cent compared to normal days. People are complaining about common cold, sneezing, fever and cough. I am also receiving people complaining about sudden increase in blood pressure, a common phenomenon in winter.” He said: “In cold conditions, the blood vessel shrinks, leading to increase in blood pressure. People suffering from asthma are also coming to my clinic.”

Dr Diwakar shared a “pill” of fighting cold with The Telegraph. “To cure cough during cold conditions, I would request people to take hot liquid diet like soup, which acts like mucolyte. It does not allow cough to get accumulated and help loosen and clear the mucus from the airways by breaking up the sputum,” he said.

He also suggested keep a bucket of hot water in bedroom to deal with the situation of humidity. People using room heaters should do the same, he added.

Physician and cardiologist Rajiv Ranjan said cases of chest pain and infection had increased in the past one week. “Several people are suffering from anjina because of the dip in the tempera- ture. Many bacteria become active because of cold and leads to infection, causing respiratory problem like bronchitis,” he said.

The fluctuations in temperature and humidity, Rajiv pointed out, are making people vulnerable to respiratory tract infections.

Children are extremely vulnerable to the change in weather, said paediatricians. “The cases of pneumonia, along with viral fever, have gone up by more than 60 per cent in the past four to five days,” said A.K. Thakur, the president of the Bihar unit of Indian Medical Association.

He said: “Cases of vomiting and headache are also coming in. The isolated diseases in winter like malaria and typhoid have also been reported in the past three days. Several parents are complaining about tonsilitis among children. Apart from these, conjunctivitis and rhinitis (running nose) have also been reported.”

Consultant physician and neurologist Gopal Prasad said: “Several patients came to my chamber with myalgic pain in the body and virus of influenza. I came across several respiratory infection cases also in the past couple of days because of extreme cold.”

Doctors advised parents against wrapping children with too many warm clothes, as that could lead to excessive sweating and increase their vulnerability to cold.