Hyderabad: With more than 20 patients walking in at most clinics and hospitals each day, the number of coughing visitors has seen a sharp rise due to the weather changes and the cold spells in July.
Patients are complaining of high-grade fever, cold, nasal blockage, headache, throat pain, cough, breathing difficulty, bodyaches and nausea. In some patients common cold is also showing symptoms of asthma. These respiratory problems are due to the viruses from the rhino family, syncitial virus, adeno virus, influenza and para influenza viruses and corona viruses.
Dr S.A. Rafi, consultant pulmonologist said that due to the strong wind movement and lower temperatures, these viruses are surviving longer in the atmosphere. Those affected with cold must not leave home for three days, that limits the spread of virus which dies within this time.”
The virus spreads through sneezing, touching the droplets and also circulation of air-conditioned rooms. Dr Ravindra Nallagonda, consultant interventional pulmonologist said those who travel for work were coming down with these symptoms.
Free test costing thousands
Private hospitals are charging patients for swine flu tests while the test itself is free at the Institute of Preventive Medicine, where all the samples are sent.
A senior administrative officer at a private hospital said the charge was for transportation of the samples. “When a swine flu test has to be done at the hospital, the kit has to be secured from the IPM. The throat swabs have to be taken and sent back. It involves travel cost and the patients are charged for it. Testing is free but transport is not,” he said.
Each patient is charged between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000. With no complaints from any patient, health officials say they can’t take action. A senior officer said the travel charges are minimal but they charge the patients more as it is a part of various packages which are offered to them....