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Fluctuating mercury sickens Mumbai

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 - 8:00am IST | Agency: dna

Hosps see 20% rise in patients suffering from respiratory disorders.

Even as the city has been pleasantly cloaked in cold the past two days, the dipping temperatures are not finding favour with the sick and the ailing.

With warm balmy afternoons and cold evenings, the fluctuating weather has taken a toll on Mumbaikars’ health.

Hospitals are witnessing a 15 to 20% rise in the number of patients suffering from respiratory disorders.

“The city air harbours a potent mix of post Diwali pollution coupled with seasonal change and fluctuating weather. Patients treated for chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder, which causes respiratory distress, has seen a by 15 to 20% increase,” said Dr Tejal Shah, chest physician at the Godrej Memorial Hospital in Vikhroli.

Even though Mumbai sees a lower extent of cold weather compared to the cities up north, doctors warn that the sudden temperature drops can raise blood pressure by up to 20% and trigger heart attacks.

“It is important for patients to be warmly clothed early in the morning before daylight. This is to prevent shivering due to a sudden dip in temperature, which exacerbates the possibility of attacks in heart patients,” said Dr Kaushal Pandey, cardiovascular thoracic surgeon at Lilavati Hospital in Bandra.

Viral infections are on a rise, too. “There has been a rise in common fever and cold cases the past week. Sore throat, fatigue and symptoms of fever are in the air now,” said Dr Hakim Pardawalla, consulting physician at Saifee Hospital, Charni Road. 

At 14 degree Celsius, Monday evening saw the lowest temperature of the season so far. Doctors warn that if the temperatures linger around 14 to 17 degrees for a week, there may be a spurt in viral fever and common cold cases.

The Met department, however, has suggested that the temperature fluctuation will normalise within the next two days as winter will set in only in late December in Mumbai.

Nashik shivers at 8° Celsius
With temperatures around 8 degrees Celsius seen the last four days, winter has announced itself in Nashik. While on Tuesday, the minimum temperature recorded was 8 degrees Celsius, its was 8.3 on Monday, 8.1 on Sunday and 8.9 on Saturday.

Citizens in Nashik can be seen wearing sweaters and  jackets and lighting small fires by the roads early in the morning is becoming common.

While the minimum temperatures are around 8 degrees Celsius, the maximum hover around 28 to 29. The fluctuating temperatures have made it difficult for people to cope with the change. “This weather has raised the number of cases of respiratory and viral infections, particularly cold and cough with fever,” said Dr Kaustubh Gokhale, a physician.

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