Plethora of diseases threaten to mar festivities

Doctors ask people to stay away from Diwali pollution, urge them to take precautionary measures

October 18, 2017 09:25 am | Updated 09:25 am IST - NEW DELHI

With a spike in cases of viral fever, swine flu, dengue, chikungunya, respiratory infections among residents, the Capital seems to be entering Diwali festivities with a plethora of diseases.

Dr. Vikas Maurya, senior consultant and Head of the Department, pulmonology and sleep disorders department, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, said: “Last year, we had several patients who came in with health complications triggered by the festival celebrations.”

“It is advisable that we observe safety and security measures for a safe Diwali. We are sure to see more children coming in this year too with a compromised respiratory capacity which could be because of multiple flu, changing seasons and rise in pollution levels. Spiked pollution levels during Diwali could prove difficult for those already affected,” he added.

‘Avoid injuries’

But it isn’t just seasonal flu that the city doctors are warning people about, Dr. Rohit Batra, dermatologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said.

“Diwali is all about firecrackers and we have to avoid injuries. Make sure your kids are wearing cotton clothes. Avoid synthetic clothes as they catch fire quickly.”

Dr. Bornali Datta, associate director, respiratory and sleep medicine, Medanta - The Medicity, said: “Control pollution as much as you can. The farmers should be given an alternative option to dispose of the stubble as their burning adds to particulate matter pollution in the atmosphere.”

“Since, winter is about to begin, you need to understand that early mornings and evenings are the time you should avoid going out. At that particular time, the air is denser with particulate matter that settles down as the temperature is lower. Go for walks during daytime and wear masks. You should use air purifiers at home. If you are a person with respiratory problems, you should use medication and inhalers. One should stay indoors as much as possible. The patients should actively get themselves vaccinated and follow a healthy lifestyle. However, if the problem still persists, seek medical attention and visit the nearest hospital,” Dr. Datta said.

Eat healthy

Adulteration is another concern. Dr. Sushila Kataria, director, internal medicine, Medanta - The Medicity, said: “We should be careful while buying sweets and eatables during Diwali as there are many cases of adulteration that come up every year. We are already receiving twice the number of cases for gastroenteritis and acidity.”

The festival also takes its toll on expecting mothers and children. “Smoke and pollution from the firecrackers can be harmful for women, particularly if they are pregnant,” said Dr. Shobha Gupta, medical director and IVF specialist from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre.

Severe cases of skin allergies are also noticed during and after Diwali. Due to the increase in pollutant levels, complains of eye burns, skin allergy and skin rashes are often heard.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.