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Mumbai: Chickenpox, viral infection cases rise as summer sets in

Mumbai: Chickenpox, viral infection cases rise as summer sets in

As temperatures go up, cases of chickenpox and respiratory illnesses are on the rise, the municipal health department said.

A viral infection, chicken pox thrives in fluctuating temperatures and mainly affects children.

“Cases of chickenpox increase in summer. There have been many cases reported in the past three weeks,” said Dr Minnie Khetrapal, head of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s epidemiology cell.

Dr Tushar Gosavi, a physician in Andheri (East), said he treated six cases of chickenpox in schoolchildren in just 15 days. “The body harbours the virus four days before the reddish eruptions show up. The infection spreads easily, especially in schools.”

The summer has also brought with it other contagious viral infections, such as herpes and measles. Dr Anil Ballani, a consultant physician at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, said he treated eight herpes and three measles cases in the past month. “Despite vaccinations, patients catch infections as they pick different variants of the virus.” Respiratory illnesses are also on the rise. “Asthma patients are showing symptoms such as shortness of breath because of the change in temperature.” Dr Anita Matthews, an infectious disease specialist at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, said all types of viral infections thrive in fluctuating temperatures.

Doctors also advised against self-medication. Dr Om Srivastava, an infectious disease consultant, said, patients take paracetamol over two weeks for heat stroke symptoms. “Prolonged use may cause liver issues.”

This article was published in Hindustan Times website dated ‘Apr. 01, 2017’.

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