Summer illnesses on the rise as mercury soars
Deccan Chronicle.| Aarti Kashyap
Girls drink water from specially arranged water pots amid rising temperatures. (K. Durga Rao/DC)
HYDERABAD: Doctors have issued warning about seasonal ailments as well as heat strokes caused by temperature spikes, which can be fatal at this time of year. Aside from heat stroke, the summer months are also the most common for gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, typhoid, upper respiratory tract infections as well as malaria.
"One of the leading causes of infections during the summer is contaminated food and water. The most common diseases we see during this season are acute gastroenteritis, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, upper respiratory tract infections caused by cold items, malarial infections, and typhoid. In the case of heat strokes, dehydration is a crucial factor that can contribute to a stroke if exposed to extreme temperatures," Dr Shiva Raju, head of medicine, KIMS Hospital, stated.
Contaminated food — packed or stale food — and contaminated water were the primary sources of infection for illnesses since the bacterial activity is quite high in high temperatures, thus eating only fresh and healthy food and ensuring clean drinking water was critical, he said.
Mild symptoms of heat stroke include headache, giddiness, vomiting, dry and red skin, nausea, dry eyes, palpitation, muscle cramps, exhaustion, and sweating, while severe symptoms include unconsciousness, mental block, and confusion.
"We may see a spike in cases of heatstroke as people are exposed to the outdoors compared to the Covid-19 pandemic years when people remained home-bound. People are complaining of severe headaches and vomiting after being exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. We advise such patients to stay hydrated and rest for at least three days," said Dr Ravindra Kumar, consultant general physician and diabetologist at Amor Hospitals.
Diabetic patients and people with pre-existing heart conditions as well as the elderly above 60 years of age are more likely to get heat strokes. Daily-wager earners, street vendors, traffic police, and others who are constantly exposed to the sun for a longer duration are at a high risk of heat strokes. People with migraine and those suffering from kidney ailments need to be careful, warned Dr Kumar.
Unless there is a compulsion, one must avoid stepping out between 12 noon and 4 pm, particularly the elderly who are above 60 years of age. Hydration is critical to protect oneself from heat strokes, advised Dr Raju.