How to avoid weather-related ailments

Doctors says many conditions are self-limiting

APP November 29, 2018
Doctors says many conditions are self-limiting. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The drop in temperature in evenings and fluctuation throughout day time has exposed Karachiites to a series of weather related conditions. Predominant among them are cold, cough and sore throat. General physicians, practicing in different localities of the city, while talking to APP confirmed a surge in the number of patients visiting them with cold, often coupled with fever and head and body aches along with coughs. All these conditions were said to be largely self-limiting with no medication needed. Proper rest, maximum intake of water to avoid dehydration, and consumption of light foods such as soups and semisolid, mildly hot dishes are recommended.

Patients, pertaining to all genders and different age groups, they said, were also advised to avoid greasy food, particularly deep-fried items and cold drinks.

"Apart from the fact that cold-induced fever, chest congestion and sore throat cause uneasiness, the conditions are largely benign with no severe implications," said Dr Saadia Ashfaq who runs her clinic in North Nazimabad. The doctor mentioned that children below five are particularly vulnerable due to their low immunity hence parents must ensure to keep them adequately covered when taking them out from the warm environments of home.

Dr Ashfaq took strong exception to the complacency shown by those who take their children on bike rides, particularly in the evening and expose their children to unnecessary risks.

Responding to a question about the impact of environmental degradation and atmospheric pollution on public health, they were unanimous in their preference for natural sources of food, particularly fresh fruit, which along with adequate prevention can increase immunity against infections.

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Meanwhile, Dr Sadqa Khan from Garden area said that people at the current point in time (i.e. winters) are inflicted with viral infections and this under particular situations may also expose them to conjunctivitis (eye infections). "Yes, this is also a consequent of pollution, particularly if contaminated water is used," she said in reply to a question.

People were further urged to avoid antibiotics for weather-related ailments as this enhances their risk to develop resistance against various other diseases. With specific reference to pneumonia among children, the doctors supported vaccination of children against pneumonia.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2018.


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