Viral? Take precautions, say doctors

August 2nd, 2011 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) Cough, runny nose and fever. Delhi’s hospitals are teeming with patients complaining of these symptoms. Doctors are telling them not to panic as the viral fever comes with the season.

“Children and the elderly are more vulnerable to viral infection. The number of patients has surely increased, but there is no need to panic as antibiotics work,” said Vinod Kumar Paul, head of paediatrics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Most patients are reporting high fever or gastrointestinal problems and monsoon related ailments.

“The reason is swift change in temperature and intermittent rains that leaves the weather humid,” pointed Romel Tickoo, a senior physician at the Max Hospital.

“Viral infection is known to spread quickly among children and elderly people who are more vulnerable to the symptoms. Weak immune system makes them prone to viral infections,” Tickoo told IANS.

The body’s natural immunity goes down during change of season. While the body takes its own time to adjust to the sudden rise or dip in temperature, viruses attack the immune system.

It is easy to catch a viral infection in crowded places like classrooms, theatres and buses. Simple precautions can keep the infections at bay, says Paul.

“Viral takes its own time of a week. Antibiotics are mainly for symptomatic relief. So the main thrust has to be on precautions,” Paul said.

Experts say that people should consult a doctor if high fever persists for more than three days.

“High fever, rashes, stomach cramps may also be symptoms of malaria or any other vector borne fever. It’s best to go for doctor’s advise,” Tickoo said.

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