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Changing season brings host of respiratory ailments for Mumbai kids

In the last two weeks, paediatricians at both private and civic-run hospitals have observed a high number of young patients suffering from symptoms like wheezing and common cold

With the rising mercury level since the last two weeks, kids seem to be bearing the brunt of the changing season. Paediatricians at both private and civic-run hospitals have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of young patients suffering from viral infection and respiratory illness.

About 30-40 per cent of patients who come in the out patient department (OPD) are complaining of symptoms like wheezing and common cold. According to medical officials, the change of season causes a fall in immunity levels, especially for children, making them susceptible to upper and lower respiratory tract ailments.

However, the numbers of vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria cases have significantly reduced, with little to no cases reported in the last one month in civic-run hospitals. Doctors warn patients not to ignore symptoms of sore throat or cough, if it persists for more than 48 hours, as it may be a case of pneumonia, an inflammatory condition of lungs.

Doctors speak

Dr Prakash Vaidya, Paediatrician at Fortis Hospital
We see a minimum of 10-15 cases of young patients complaining of wheezing, triggered by viral infection, in the form of cough and cold. With the change in weather, known as the transitional period, there have been a more than average cases in the past few days.

Dr Yeshwant Ghabale, Paediatrician at Sion Hospital
We have about 60-70 patients coming in the OPD complaining of ailments like common cold, bronchitis and symptoms of breathlessness in the past few days. There has been a 3% increase in asthma patients. They are prescribed a course of antibiotics to relieve them of symptoms like running nose and cough.

Dr Ashok Rathod Head, (paediatric department) JJ Hospital
Change in weather, especially in February, brings down immunity levels. Presently, we have around 10 patients admitted, suffering from pneumonia. In the last two weeks, there has been an increase in the number of bronchitis, asthma and sore throat cases. About 30% of these patients have respiratory ailments due to rise in temperature.

>> Fall in immunity level due to change in weather is a major cause of rise in viral infection cases
>> Dengue and malaria cases on decline in the last one month

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