Mumbai: Light showers may spike chances of viral infections

While IMD said the rain would be short-lived, doctors worry that the change in climate might trigger a spate of viral infections, including H1N1

After enduring one of the most tormenting Octobers, Mumbaikars experienced some relief on Saturday and Sunday after light showers hit the city. Mumbai’s weather bureau and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) have said that the temporary shift in weather will stay for a day or two.

Doctors are worried that senior citizens and children will find it difficult to adjust to the change in climate and will be prone to respiratory infections. File pic
Doctors are worried that senior citizens and children will find it difficult to adjust to the change in climate and will be prone to respiratory infections. File pic

While the rain has made way for pleasant weather, doctors worry that the sudden change might lead to a spike in fever and viral infection cases.

Though the rainfall recorded by both Colaba and Santacruz observatories was minimal, the epidemic cell of BMC mentioned that the marginal shift in climate, caused by cloudy weather, could lead to more cases of viral fever, throat infection, apart from complicating asthma and bronchitis.

Doctors have warned of a possible spike in H1N1 cases, which has already been termed an endemic in the city due to its prolonged existence. The drop in temperature can aid the spread of the H1N1 bug.

Viral infections
Dr Mini Khetarpal, head of the BMC epidemic cell, said, “Senior citizens and children will find it difficult to adjust to the change in climate and they will probably be susceptible to viral infections, concerning the respiratory tract and throat.”

Also Read: First showers arrive, so does the threat of dengue

She added, “Though the trend in dengue and H1N1 cases is showing a downward count, there is a possibility that the climate, which is helpful for H1N1 virus, will cause a few worries if it remains cloudy for three to four more days. A major cause of concern will be fever, asthma and bronchitis cases, which can witness a spike.”

Weather bureau officials also mentioned that the city witnessed light rainfall on Sunday, reported at 0.7mm by the Santacruz observatory. However, even though rain was observed in different parts of the city, the Colaba observatory recorded no rainfall.

The officials added that a report would be finalised soon, after which they will be able to confirm the total amount of rainfall recorded in different parts of the city.

Temporary shift
Terming it a temporary shift in climate, Rajiv Nair, IMD director, said the rapid change in weather is nothing but a result of excessive heat experienced by Mumbaikars since the past few days.

Read Story: Mumbai sees spurt in rain-related diseases

Nair said, “The moisture accumulated due to excessive heat is the result of cloudy weather and light showers. There is a marginal drop in temperature as well. But according to the data, since there are no other reasons for this sudden change, it will pass in a day or two.”

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