Non-COVID viral infections go up in Bengaluru due to weather change, cause panic

The dip in temperatures, made worse by rain due to Nivar, has led to an upswing in viral infections that are probably not Covid-19.

Published: 27th November 2020 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2020 12:29 PM   |  A+A-

Coronavirus, Vaccine

Representational Image. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The dip in temperatures, made worse by rain due to Nivar, has led to an upswing in viral infections that are probably not Covid-19.

However, with symptoms being common, doctors find themselves dealing with patients’ fear of Covid-19 even as the pandemic rages.

People are rushing to doctors if they develop a cough, sore throat or even if they feel cold, fearing that they have contracted Covid-19.

“They are getting confused and are mixing up viral infections. They are forgetting that cases of viral infections rise during this season in Bengaluru, especially among children and those with asthma. They’ve forgotten (what life was like) before corona,” said a pulmonologist and expert associated with the health department.

Either virtually, or in person, doctors find themselves trying to explain this scenario to patients amid an atmosphere of talk of a second wave and possible reinfections. Doctors too, have to either detect or rule out a Covid infection or reinfection.

“While we are prescribing anti-viral medication, we are not ruling out the possibility of re-infection, even though chances are minimal. So, to be assured and prescribe the right course of treatment, we are advising patients to get an antibody test done, and isolate until their condition improves,” said Dr Vivek P, pulmonologist.

Health experts working with the government say the state is prepared to handle a second wave.

“But at present, what we are seeing is that people come with Covid symptoms, but an RT-PCR test comes back negative and they have (another) viral infection. We are asking patients to monitor their health for the next five days. Doctors and health workers are also being advised to keep a close watch on patients. The virus is new and we don’t know  how it is changing. We have to deal with situations as they develop. So far, we knew the basic symptoms and test reports would confirm Covid, but now, things are worrisome. So, antibody tests on recovered Covid-19 patients is being prescribed,” a health department official said.

Dr Manohar Nageshappa of Manipal Hospital said that a study of frontline health workers and Oxford University research showed that Covid reinfection in unlikely for about six months.

Isolated cases of reinfection may have occurred, but for most people who contracted Covid, the chances of getting it twice are very low. 

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