Dry spell, cold weather lead to respiratory infections
* Sir Ganga Ram Hospital DMS says residents of Chowk Yateem Khana, Chauburji and Shadman more prone to respiratory infections
By Muzaffar Ali
LAHORE: With a dry spell of cold weather prolonging, there has been 10 to 15 percent increase in the number of cases of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) in various hospitals in the city as compared to the last year.
About 20 to 30 percent patients out of the total patients visiting the public hospitals are infected with URTI. There has been an increase up to 40 percent in ear, nose and throat (ENT).
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital deputy medical superintendent (DMS) Dr Masood Akhtar Sheikh said the cases were reported when it did not rain for long and the dust aggravated the problem. He said URTI was a viral disease. He said there was no medicine available for its treatment. He said, “Patients, especially children, remain infected with the disease for more than two weeks.” He said there was 10 to 15 percent increase in the disease as compared to the last year. He said prolonged dry weather and construction work on the roads were some of the reasons. He said the people living at Chowk Yateem Khana, Chauburji and Shadman were more prone to the disease.
Services Hospital DMS Dr Aftab said the asthma cases had been increased in the city. People with a family history of asthma should be more careful. He said, “Cold air can create asthma and irritation in respiratory artery.”
Lahore General Hospital Additional Medical Superintendent of Dr Ziaullah Cheema said regular steaming should be given, particularly to children under the supervision of elders. He said the people should avoid exposure to sudden change in temperature and keep the body adequately warm. “Avoid oily food and consult a doctor in case of fever instead of self-medication,” he said, “Those driving motorcycles during early hours or late evenings should wear helmets and cover their faces properly.”
Caretaker Health minister Aslam Humayoon said he had directed the Health Department to start a campaign against the communicable diseases. He said doctors should educate the people about how to avoid an infectious disease. He said the Punjab government was focusing on health through strengthening primary healthcare and disease preventive programmes.