Change of weather: Scattered hail not enough to counter influenza virus

There has been a 50% increase in the number of patients visiting OPDs for treatment of seasonal influenza.

Sehrish Wasif November 06, 2012


While unexpected hail on Monday in scattered parts of the capital might bring down temperature, it will not be enough to counter influenza virus.

Health experts were of the view that the Monday’s rain would have little impact on influenza, which is affecting a large number of people.

According to the data collected by The Express Tribune, there has been a 50% to 60% increase in the number of patients visiting outpatient departments of the capital’s hospitals for treatment of seasonal influenza and allergies compared to a month ago.

Dr Zulkafeel Awan, Head of ENT department at Polyclinic Hospital, said this weather encourages the spread of seasonal influenza viruses, which are inactive during summers and winters. The viruses cause upper respiratory tract infections, sore throat, flu, cough, watery eyes and fever, he said.

Hot sunny days and cool evenings also help the virus spread. “It is unfortunate that people are aware of the extreme differences in temperature and yet they don’t keep warm,” he said, suggesting that people should wear warm clothes while going out in late evening and early morning.

Dr Jawad Ahmed, Senior ENT specialist at the Capital Development Authority Hospital, said “heavy rain” is required to settle dust particles and slow down the spread of influenza.

But there are slim chances of rain in the upcoming week, according to the Meteorological Department.

The doctors suggested that people suffering from flu should keep warm and avoid chilled food or beverages. They should instead consume broths and green tea.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.


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