FEVERISH HIGH – Fluctuating mercury lays Puneites low

20% Increase In Viral, Flu-like Illnesses Over Last 2 Weeks
Huge gap in day and night temperatures is keeping city doctors busy.A marked difference of almost 15 degrees between the day and night temperatures has sent the cases of viral infection soaring in the city, physicians told TOI.

“The number of patients with hand-foot-andmouth disease, respiratory tract infections and an atypical viral infection mimicking dengue and chikungunya has increased over the last few days,“ they added.

Family physician Santaji Kadam said there has been an increase in respirato ry tract infections, fever as well as chest conges tion among children since a week. “We get almost 20 children daily complaining of these troubles. With the expected dip in the mercury in coming days, there could be an increase in post-viral arthritis symptoms,“ Kadam said. Post-viral arthritis refers to an inflammation of joints and joint pain. Cold weather assists in activating bacteria in the environment. This results in an increase in the number of infections, especially those of the respiratory tract.

“We get an average of six to seven patients with the hand-foot-and-mouth disease these days, as against one or two earlier. Also, there is an increase in the number of patients coming with another viral infection, which is similar to that of dengue or chikungunya, but the patient’s blood test turn out to be in negative for these ailments,“ family physician Prakash Mahajan said.

Ajit Tambolkar, a consulting physician and an ICU specialist at the Poona Hospital, said there has been a sudden rise in number of patients complaining of cough, cold and throat infection.

“The infection is not like the typical cough and cold, but takes more time to treat. Patients come with fever, body ache and dry cough, which does not settle with routine anti-cough syrups. This, therefore, seems to be a different kind of a viral strain, which also causes a lot of wheezing.The infection, however, responds to inhalers and ne bulization,“ Tambolkar, who is getting three to four patients with these symptoms daily, said.

Abhijeet P Joshi, consulting physician at the Joshi Hospital, said there has been a 20% increase in viral, flu-like illnesses over the past two weeks, characterized mainly by fever and multiple joint pains, which could be attributed to erratic temperature fluctuations in the city.

On Tuesday, the city’s maximum temperature stood at 31.2 degrees celsius, while the minimum temperature was 16.9 degrees celsius, which was around 0.5 degree below normal.

The difference between the night and day temperatures on Tuesday was 14.3 degrees. On Monday, city’s minimum temperature shot up to 21.7°C, almost 4.3 degrees above normal, while the maximum temperature recorded on the day was 30.1°C.

Source : TOI