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Thursday, July 21, 2011

India : Viral fever strikes ahead of monsoon

Via Deccan Chronicle :

" High fever, a runny nose, cough and body ache. All typical complaints that city doctors are hearing from patients filling up their consultation rooms after contracting viral infections. Even before the monsoon rains have set in, the fluctuation in day and evening temperatures has triggered a spurt in infections caused by air borne viruses, they say. On Tuesday, the maximum temperature soared to a blistering 38ºC while the minimum was around 26ºC after a short spell of rain.

“Such sharp temperature changes combined with high humidity can trigger viral infections,” said J.K. Reddy, paediatrician at Apollo Children’s Hospital. “We receive children complaining of fever and cold on a daily basis.” He said the biggest worry is that parents tend to give children a dose of antibiotics, procured from pharmacies over the counter, at the first sign of a cough or sore throat. “Schoolchildren kids are most prone to catching these viruses, especially those who sit in cramped, air-conditioned classrooms. Kids under five are the most common victims,” Dr Reddy added. At least 60 per cent of the patients that doctor Somu Sivabalan sees every day complain of fever and cough, with a small percentage of diarrhoea cases and several cases of croup, a serious viral cough."

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