In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of cases of viral respiratory infections. These infections are caused by a variety of viruses, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and human metapneumovirus (HMPV). 

Viral respiratory infections can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and shortness of breath. In some cases, they can lead to more serious complications, such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

How does it spread?

Fever
Pexels/Representational image

Viral respiratory infections can spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Viral respiratory infections can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. 

What are the symptoms?

The recent surge in viral fever with persistent cough for 2-3 weeks is a cause for concern. The symptoms of viral respiratory infections can vary depending on the virus that is causing the infection. Some of the common symptoms include cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, wheezing and difficulty in breathing.

How can we prevent it?

Fever
Pexels/Reprentational image

Currently with the outbreak of viral respiratory infection, people must wear masks whenever they are going out of their houses or in public places especially while travelling in trains, metros or bus. Those who have recovered from COVID or those who had got COVID anytime in their life should restart using masks to prevent this viral respiratory infection. There are a number of things that people can do to prevent the infection which includes getting the flu vaccine every year(people at high risk), washing hands frequently with soap and water, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home from work or school when sick, covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

What are the risk factors?

Children, elderly people with diabetics, and people with respiratory allergies are more prone to viral respiratory infections. People can also get infected repeatedly, even within a few months. This is because the virus can mutate slightly due to environmental factors. Most people with viral respiratory infections have mild symptoms, such as a fever for a day or a running nose. Some people may have moderate symptoms, such as a high grade fever for 2-3 days with a cough and cold that lasts for a week or two. A small percentage of people may develop pneumonia.

What is the current trend?

Cough
Pexels/Reprentational image

There is an increase in viral pneumonia cases in both outpatient and inpatient settings in hospitals, especially among people with risk factors such as low immunity, diabetes, and old age.

In recent months, there has been a surge in cases of both dengue and viral respiratory infections. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the warm weather, the increased number of mosquitoes, and the lack of immunity in the population. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of dengue or viral respiratory infection, it is important to see a doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent complications.

About the author: Dr. Nasiruddin G is a Consultant in Internal medicine at Fortis Hospital, Cunningham, Bangalore. All views/opinions expressed in the article are of the author. 

Source link