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Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Muhammad Qasim) | After the change in weather conditions, the incidence of seasonal infections is on the rise particularly among elderly people, children and chronic patients who according to health experts may suffer from serious complications of the seasonal ailments if they do not opt for in-time management of the infection.
Nearly 20 per cent of the total patients coming to public and private healthcare facilities in the region are with seasonal infections like chest infections, flu, sore throat or cold, said Senior Registrar at Medical Unit 1 in Holy Family Hospital Dr. Zahid Minhas while talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday.
He said majority of patients being reported with seasonal ailments and their complications are elderly, aged over 60 years, children, diabetics and those who are immunocompromised, living with weaker immunity whether because of some congenital or primary disorder or secondary disorder, the disorder they got later in life due to some disease or infection like HIV/AIDS.
The air is engulfed by dusty clouds, toxic metals and vapours that cause certain infections and at the time, rain and heavy wind are needed to cleanse the air, he said. High pollution level in the air is causing the spread of various seasonal infections and complications for patients with asthma, he added.
Dr. Minhas, however, said the situation is well under control and the number of patients being reported at present with seasonal ailments is smaller as compared to the number of patients reported last year at the beginning of winter.
He said the most important thing to avoid seasonal ailments is following proper preventive measures. Common cold and flu (influenza) are very common infections of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, ears and sinuses). Over 200 different viruses can cause cold which is self-limiting. There is no cure for the cold or the flu however you can treat your symptoms only to feel better while your body fights off the virus, he explained.
He, however, added sometimes complications such as ear and sinus infections in case of colds and pneumonia in case of flu may occur that may be life-threatening. He said both the chronic patients and healthy people should start drinking green tea or warm water with lemon and honey. “Chicken soup can also help loosen the mucus.”
He like other health experts suggested that a patient of cold or flu should not take antibiotics as they do not work against viruses. However, in case of complications of cold and flu, these may be taken on the advice of a qualified doctor, he said. Wearing warm clothes and a well-balanced diet can help avoiding a number of seasonal infections in winter, said Dr. Minhas.

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