With the Covid-19 cases starting to subside gradually in the city, many public health experts are sounding alert on seasonal diseases for the next 3 months. With prevailing weather conditions, it not only brings new challenges to public healthcare institutions but also triggers a lot of medical conditions, unique to this period of the year.
With intermittent rains, comes water-logging and stagnant of water in low lying areas which makes a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes, that can cause a host of febrile (fever causing) illness such as malaria, filarial, dengue and chikungunya, says Dr. Ram Prasad, senior consultant physician, Visakhapatnam.
Like every monsoon, this year also witnessed a spurt in seasonal diseases that infected hundreds if not thousands. But much of attention was duly paid to rising Covid-19 cases, leaving viral fevers unchecked in some parts of the agency areas. While we do have a specific treatment for malaria but for dengue and chikungunya are mostly treated symptomatically. So, with no vaccine for this type of disease in the sight, the need of the hour is prevention at an early stage, added Dr. Ram Prasad. Also, change in weather can precipitate asthma and sinus problems.
Private nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals are started to report a spike in cases of viral fevers, including suspected dengue, swine flu, and typhoid fever in the last few weeks. Nevertheless, physicians familiar with the annual cycle of seasonal disease pointed out that the spike in reporting of suspected viral fevers in the city is not as severe as the previous year.
But as usual, the general public should avoid unnecessary public gatherings and strictly adhere to Covid-19 guidelines like usage of masks and other personal hygiene measures until March next year. Some doctors even underscored the need for maintaining physical distancing measures and also said that the usage of masks also reduces the severity of swine flu and tuberculosis, in addition to Covid-19.
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