As winter sets in, more people likely to catch viral diseases

It is not just swine flu. With the onset of winter in Delhi, doctors said, there is a spate of bacterial and viral illnesses that cause fever, upper respiratory tract infection and pneumonia.

Doctors said people should avoid crowded places, frequently wash their hands and consult a physician if fever and sore throat last for more than 48 hours. Those at higher risk–elderly , children and the immune-compromised patients ­ are also advised to take preventive vaccination.


There is a wide variation in the day and the night temperature which is most suitable for bacterial growth and transmission of viral infection. We are getting many flu patients suddenly over the past week. Swine flu confirm cases are few.

Swine flu exhibits symptoms that are similar to the common flu. We do not test everyone for H1N1influenza or swine flu because treatment modality doesn’t change. Only in severe cases the diagnosis is important for starting anti-viral therapy.

Sunit Verma, who works with a pharma company , said he has been suffering from fever and sore throat for over two weeks. “I got myself tested for swine flu but that came negative which was a big relief. I have been prescribed antibiotics and the doctor has advised me to gargle twice just to be able to talk. I feel choked otherwise,“ he said. Doctors said self-medica tion should be strictly avoid tion should be strictly avoided. “If high fever continues for more than 48 hours, one must consult doctor. Taking medicine without consultation and delaying treatment can lead of aggravation of the existing condition,“ said a doctor.

He added extra care is required for people suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure as cold weather puts them at higher risk of heart attacks and cerebrovascular attacks. “To boost immunity , one should sleep well and eat healthy . Also, one should avoid close contact with people who have flu symptoms,“ said Dr Tickoo.

Cold weather stiffens arthritic joints making movement difficult. He said light exercise during daytime can help maintain flexibility of joints. One should avoid early morning activities.