Celsius swings, city suffers

The freak weather is taking a toll on Jamshedpur's health.

Fluctuating temperatures have triggered a disease comeback, with viral fever and gastro-enteritis topping the charts. Hospitals and clinics in the steel city are flooded with patients suffering from cold and cough, fever and diarrhoea.

Officials at the newly opened Sadar Hospital in Khasmahal said the numbers had gone up only recently. " On an average, 150 patients visit our OPD every day. But, for the past couple of days, more than 200 are coming," said deputy superintendent A.K. Lal.

The figures at MGM Medical College and Hospital were alarming too. Authorities said that against a daily average of 400 patients, the hospital's OPD was seeing 600 every day for the last few days. "Most of them are complaining of cold-cough, fever and gastro-enteritis. The erratic weather, which is blowing hot and cold, is to be blamed for this sudden surge in diseases," said MGM superintendent S.S. Prasad.

Nirmal Kumar, a senior doctor associated with the state-run hospital in Sakchi, warned that the elderly and children were more vulnerable because of their low immunity. "Senior citizens and children below 10 form the bulk of patients at this time of the year. Persons allergic to dust also fall prey to viral diseases easily," he said.

According to the weather department, the minimum temperature in the city rose to as high as 19�C on February 8, making winter feel like summer. However, the very next day, the reading nosedived almost seven degrees to 12.8�C. On February 10, it further dropped to 10.4�C, after which there was a rising trend.

On Wednesday, the minimum stood at 14.1�C.

Statistics suggested that maximum temperatures were erratic too. It fluctuated between 21�C and 32�C over the last few days. The day reading crossed the 30�C mark on two days, forcing residents to shed woollens. On February 6, the city sweated at 32.5�C, the highest in last five years. The next day too, the reading stayed around 30�C. February 8, however, felt the nip again as the day temperature plummeted to 21.3�C because of a change in wind pattern.

Doctors confirmed that the warm winter syndrome was a trigger for diseases.

"The abrupt rise in temperature during this time of the season results in outbreak of viral fever and diseases like gastro-enteritis. The number of patients has increased at our hospital too," said Arthar Harim, the spokesperson for Brahmananda Narayana Hrudayalaya, the super speciality hospital in Tamolia.

What precautions are you taking to stay healthy?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com

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