Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 27 Sep 2016 Virus in the air: Be ...

Virus in the air: Bengaluru just can’t stop coughing

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | JOYEETA CHAKRAVORTY
Published Sep 27, 2016, 2:17 am IST
Updated Sep 27, 2016, 7:09 am IST
The sudden rise and fall in mercury levels has led to a surge in viral infections in the city (Representational Image)
 The sudden rise and fall in mercury levels has led to a surge in viral infections in the city (Representational Image)

Bengaluru: “My mother has a viral fever for more than two weeks now. She also has a throat ache, which refuses to go,” says Rishi, whose 56-year-old mother has been popping medicines without any relief from the cold and cough.

The sudden rise and fall in mercury levels has led to a surge in viral infections in the city over the last fortnight. What is baffling is the nature of the fever that persists for more than 15 days.

“It has been a month since I had cold and cough. I still have cough. The syrup and herbal tea are not helping,” says Ayesha Ganesh, who is worried as she has to catch a flight to the US in a few days.

“We are seeing many cases of viral bronchitis. Basically because of the infection, the immune system gets activated and the lungs and airways become hypersensitive to pollutants,” informs Dr Shankar Prasad, Medical Director, St Philomena's Hospital.

“Another reason for the persistent nature of cough and chills is that during the viral infection season, there is additional bacterial infection called superadded infection or super infection which is an added bacterial infection on a virus infection and it prolongs the viral infection," explains Dr S.M. Prasad, Professor, Paediatrics, Dr B.R. Ambedkar Medical College and Chairperson of Bangalore Adolescent Health Academy. He stresses that antibiotics which are antibacterial will not work against the viral infection but only add to the infection.

Dr Sudha Menon, Director, Internal Medicines, Fortis Hospital, sees nearly 30 patients at the OPD every day. “Most of the cases are of this nature and it is a little more Bengaluru specific as this weather pattern is not seen anywhere else. The fever is running up to three to four weeks. It is a post-viral reaction as most of the viruses irritate the airway, partly because of the person's tendency to allergies. We administer a combination of anti-allergic and inhalers which soothes the airways."

Experts advise extra precaution for children. “Especially in schools where the class strength is big, cough etiquette and hand hygiene should be taught. The schools should relax rules when a child has viral fever," says Dr Prasad, who adds that exercising and nutritious food, including intake of vitamin C enriched fruits, will help reduce chances of catching the viral fever.

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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