CHENNAI: You might have received a lot of advice on to keep yourself hydrated with water this Summer. But what you should also keep in mind is the kind of water you drink, because something as simple as a throat infection, if left untreated can be dangerous.
In the last two months, doctors in city hospitals have seen a sudden influx of patients with complaints of pharyngitis or throat infection, all directly attributable to drinking unsafe water and fruit juice from roadside stalls.
“Eighty per cent of the patients that I’ve seen in the last 45 days were those that came in with pharyngitis,” said Dr Vinod Premanand, Consultant General Physician, Fortis Malar Hospital.
The doctor also quickly added that out of those patients, about 90 per cent of them come to him only after they get to the second stage, where they develop high fever and an equally bad cough.
Though medical experts say that pharyngitis is the most common ailment in summer, they find that the bacteria causing it has become so dangerous that most patients do not get the initial symptoms of throat irritation or sore throat, but directly end up with a fever.
“When the infection in the throat spreads, it will head to the lungs next, and can cause bronchitis. The only advice would be, do not drink anything outside if you are not sure about the water or the ice cubes being used,” Dr Premanand added.
While patients with throat irritation are advised to gargle with hot salt water, those that come with second infections of fever and chest condition are prescribed antibiotics and cough syrup.
And sore throat is not limited by distance or location, “Yes, there is an increase. Even in my house, three of us have throat infections,” said Dr Ragunandan from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
In fact, if things get worse this can lead to sepsis, a severe blood infection that can be fatal.
“Upper respiratory tract infection is very common in Summer. I have been seeing at least 50 patients every day and it is not confined to a particular age group,” said Dr Deepa, Consultant Physician, Nova Specialty Hospital.