Over the past few weeks, government hospitals have reported a rise of 30% in the number of cases of influenza, while private hospitals in the city reported a spike of 40%.
“We are witnessing an outbreak of both influenza A (which is dominant) and B cases. It can be seen from the increase in the number of patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and pneumonia (both bacterial and viral) all across the state and NCR in particular. All health centres have been put on aler,”chief medical officer Dr Virender Yadav told TOI.
He added that anybody with over 103 F (39.4 C) or higher temperature and breathing difficulties must consult a doctor. “Children, especially those below 5 years, people above 65 years, pregnant women and people with certain long-term health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions are at a higher risk of developing complications if they get seasonal flu,” the CMO said.
On Saturday, the Indian Council of Medical Research quoted surveillance data from December 15 to call Influenza A subtype H3N2 as the major cause of rising respiratory illness in India.
According to doctors, the recent increase in seasonal diseases, including H3N2 influenza, was due to a rapid shift in weather conditions. Dr Arunesh Kumar, head of pulmonology and respiratory medicine at Paras Hospital, said, “There has been an increase in the number of patients coming to the OPD with febrile illnesses, cough and sore throat. On a daily basis, at least 10-15 patients who visit the chest OPD are detected with virus symptoms.”