Doctors are advising have advised people to keep their exposure to foggy outdoors to a minimum to avoid catching respiratory diseases.
Doctors say public hospitals have witnessed nearly 30 per cent increase in the number of patients with respiratory infections and allergies.
The drop in mercury has meanwhile reduced the number of dengue patients.
No new dengue patient was reported across the province on Monday, a spokesman of the Health Department said on Tuesday.
“The number of upper respiratory tract infections increases with drop in temperature. While going out in fog, people should ensure they cover their chests. If one catches a cold, steam should be taken for immediate relief,” Prof Irshad Qureshi of King Edward Medical University said.
Prof Muhammad Ajmal an ear, nose and throat specialist, said those already suffering from respiratory diseases, allergies or throat infections should avoid the fog.
“Many patients have seasonal diseases,” he said.
He said in Lahore, people were more used to summer than winter. He said people should take precautions against catching infections.
Dr Muhammad Amjad said asthma patients should take special care this season.
“Those who go out early morning in the fog should use masks to avoid catching the cold or aggravating respiratory problems,” he added.
He said people should get at least six hours of sleep each night and eat high-protein foods like eggs, fish and meat.
Dr Muhammad Kamran, a pediatrician, said mothers should be careful about infants and toddlers in this season.
“Most children catch cold during change of clothes or a bath. Mothers must ensure their children have warm clothing,” he said.
He said proper nutrition for children was also important to avoid catching seasonal infections. He said children should have more protein this season.
Assistant Professor of Community Medicine at the Institute of Public Health Dr Shahid Malik said allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis (running nose and breathing problems) and respiratory diseases were common seasonal illnesses among grown-ups while bronchial pneumonia was common among children.
He said seasonal diseases had gone up by 20% in the last few days and many patients had chest infections and skin allergies. He said diabetics and heart patients needed to take special care to dress up warmly. “They should avoid going on walks too early in the morning because of the fog,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2013.