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Respiratory infections on rise, docs advise caution

Doctors advise those suffering or having recently suffered with cough, cold and fever to refrain from mingling with crowds so as to reduce the chances of cross contamination. Over the past few days, physicians have been treating a number of patients with respiratory infections caused by Adenoviruses, which affect the upper respiratory system and spread infection.


Prevention is better than cure: Boys selling masks at Sancheti Chowk in Shivajinagar. File pic

“I have been coming across many people suffering from high fever followed by the Leucopenia or low White Blood Cell (WBC) count. This is being brought about by changes in the environment. Such cases are also increasing cross infection, which causes further problems when it spreads,” said Dr Ballal Agashe. 

Bina Tile, a physician and gynaecologist from Pimple Gurav area said that there is an increase in the number of cases with viral fever and throat infection.

“Patients suffering from such infections should stay away from crowds so the infection can be contained and not allowed to spread,” Tile said.

Agashe added that viral fever causes the WBC count to plunge, resulting in weakness and increasing the possibility of contracting other infections.

“A few days ago, I came across a patient with a WBC count of 2,000, whereas the healthy minimum should be 4,000,” Agashe said Agreeing that there is in fact a spurt in such cases, Dr Vikas Pai said, “I have treated numerous patients affected with bacterial infections and viral fever. Open food is a major reason for such infections.”

On the backdrop of the recent H1N1 episode and the increase in the number of cases of viral fever, doctors advise those suffering from cough, cold and fever to use masks to cover the nose to limit the chances of infecting others.  “People with low WBC count should stay at home to reduce the chances f catching other infections,” Agashe said. 

Precautions
>> Cover nose and mouth with the facemask while in a crowd
>> Stay at home in case of drop in WBC count
>> Increase vitamin content in food in case of weakness
>> Consult doctor in case of high fever and running nose

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