Chennai

Viral infections on the rise?

In the past week, daytime temperature has been fluctuating between 32 and 35 degrees C. File photo: V. Ganesan

In the past week, daytime temperature has been fluctuating between 32 and 35 degrees C. File photo: V. Ganesan  

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Since the past few days, Chennai appears to be witnessing an increase in the cases of viral infections.

Even tertiary care hospitals are receiving patients with complaints of viral infections. Apart from the usual cold and viral fever, measles and mumps are also common infections doctors encounter during this time of the year.

In the past week, daytime temperature has been fluctuating between 32 and 35 degrees Celsius, while night-time temperature has been steady. The average for this time of the year should be around 32 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological Department. The fluctuation in daytime temperature has resulted in warmer days while the nights remain cool. When people tend to drink cold water after a long walk in the hot sun, it imbalances the core body temperature, explained A. Elango, resident medical officer, Government Royapettah Hospital.

“Any climatic variation will bring about viral infection. Everything depends on the inner core temperature of the body,” he said. “The fluctuating climatic conditions aggravate the activity of viruses which are always present in the atmosphere and in the body.” For some days now, the hospital has been receiving at least three patients every day with complaints of viral infection.

Chickenpox and measles begin as fever and when rashes begin to appear on the skin, families tend to resort to traditional treatments like using neem leaves instead of seeking medical help. With proper medical treatment, chickenpox can be treated in five days, he said. Getting vaccinated for chickenpox would provide immunity for three years.

Corporation Health Officer P. Kuganantham, however, said there was no increase in viral infections in the city. “All private and government hospitals are reporting the cases to the Corporation and we have not found an increase in viral activity,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:38:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/viral-infections-on-the-rise/article2985478.ece

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