HYDERABAD: Going by the data available with Directorate of Public Health and Family Welfare, starting March 24 till now, as many as 832 cases of heat-related illnesses cases have been reported in Primary Healthcare Centres across Telangana from March 2019. The mercury levels from different parts of the State in the last few days have breached 46 degree Celsius, and Neelwai mandal in Mancherial recording the highest maximum of 47.8 degree Celsius.
The sweltering heatwave in Telangana that started earlier in May has already claimed 17 lives in the State, as reported earlier in these columns. However, doctors warn that heatwave-related fevers and illnesses are not easily distinguishable from flu or other illnesses causing fever.
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Dr Shravan Kumar, head of the Medicine Department, Osmania General Hospital, explains, “While there is a rise in heatwave-related cases in the last two weeks Around three to four persons are affected by the heat have come to the hospital for treatment. However, we anticipate the higher number as many doctors do not recognise symptoms of heat-related illnesses and pass them off as normal fever.”
Adilabad and Karimnagar seem to be the worst affected districts. Around 348 cases of heat-related illness have been reported in Adilabad, and nine of the 17 death cases are from Karimnagar. Dr P Vikram Kumar, joint director of Epidemics in the Public Health & Family Welfare Department, explained that the number is most likely to be higher than the records. “We have been stocking ORS and IV fluids at PHCs for emergency treatment and have asked the district medical officers to spread awareness about heat-related precautions among the public,” he said.