PUNE: Respiratory infections are continuing unabated in the city this summer, the season in which such cases usually dip. Doctors and hospitals attributed the trend to frequent rain and fluctuation in temperatures. Pollution could play a role, too.
Dr Sandeep Karmarkar, consultant ENT surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic, said, "Respiratory infections are more common in winters. But this year, these infections are continuing even in summer. Since January 23, Pune has been facing a multitude of viral infections, including Covid, swine flu, H3N2 and Influenza B. These have made people's respiratory system hypersensitive, causing recurrent minor infections and allergies. A hallmark of these infections is a chronic persistent cough."
Dr Karmarkar said the daily fluctuation in temperatures had played a role in triggering recurrent allergies and infections. "Strong heat in the afternoon, followed by thunderstorms in the evening has created an environment conducive to the growth and spread of respiratory viruses," he added.
Dr Mahesh Kumar Manohar Lakhe, infectious disease specialist at Sahyadri Hospitals, said: "We are currently seeing a lot of people with Influenza B, including very sick patients with associated complications like myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle, and hepatitis. Summer is when such respiratory infections reduce, but untimely rain may have something to do with the slight rise in such cases."
Dr Lakhe said initially there was a spate of adenovirus cases this year, which gave way to Influenza A and H1N1. Now, doctors were seeing more of Influenza B and Covid cases, he added.
Dr Piyush Chaudhari, infectious diseases specialist at Jehangir Hospital, Pune, told TOI, "Weather is a factor in the increase in upper respiratory infections this summer. There have been sudden variations in the weather, including increase in the frequency of cloudy weather and rain. The population, including children, have not been very exposed to seasonal viruses last two-three years because of the Covid pandemic. Now, the sudden exposure in a low-mask-and-sanitisation-compliance scenario is also making people catch these infections easily." Dr Chaudhari said many people were getting recurrent cold/cough for the past six months.
Dr RK Chopra, senior consultant of chest medicine at Ruby Hall Clinic, said the sudden rise in night temperatures over the past week was the most important factor for the surge in respiratory infections, particularly in elderly patients with comorbidities.
"Summers in Pune generally have fewer respiratory infections, but air pollution could be a contributing factor. There have been large variations in night temperatures with a sudden shift to warmer nights. People have been unable to adapt to this change, making them vulnerable to various types of respiratory infections, such as different types of influenza - Type A, Type B. These infections present with flu-like symptoms of fever with chills, cold, dry cough and breathing difficulties in some," he said.

Source link