With the weather being unpredictable and mercury levels falling, many Bangaloreans have been queuing up at clinics and hospitals from the last one month.
Though doctors ruled out the risk of malaria and dengue, cases of viral fever are a cause of worry and state health officials confirmed the scare.
Dr Ragini, District Health Officer, Bangalore Urban, said, “The temporary changes in weather have resulted in higher chances of people coming down with viral fever.”
She suggested precautions including increased water intake and frequent hand sanitising. Asthma patients have been advised to stay warm. “Other changes like dry skin, cold and cough are regular symptoms since winter is approaching,” she said.
Pinning children as most vulnerable to sudden weather changes and resulting infections, Dr S R Lakshmipathy, Senior Specialist Paediatrician, KC General Hospital, Malleswaram, said, “Viral fever is caused by Influenza, which is commonly seen during weather transitions. Virii affecting the respiratory tract and causing pneumonia are also identified during sudden changes in weather”.
Asthma Patients at Risk
Other doctors also observed that it is not just fever that is keeping spirits low. Infections leading to cough, cold and sneezing have been spreading, leaving asthmatic patients to suffer more.
Dr Giridhar Babu, Associate Professor, Public Health Foundation of India, said it is essential to keep oneself hydrated.
“Viral fever causes severe dehydration and worsens asthma. Asthmatic patients should stay warm and keep themselves away from dust and smoke,” he suggested, adding that transmission from infected individuals to healthy individuals is highly likely in a crowded setting.
Cold Conditions to Persist: IMD
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) attributed the sudden and persisting dip in temperature, before sunrise and after sunset, to the cyclonic effect in the North-east.
B Puttanna, Director, IMD, said less clouding is resulting in short wave radiations.
“The sun’s radiations are directly hitting the earth’s surface after sunrise, causing increase in maximum temperature during day. More long-wave radiations (which cool the Earth), after sunset and before sunrise, lead to lower temperatures during night and early morning,” he said.
He forecast that these changes will persist for another two days and rains are also expected, adding that December is expected to be severely cold.