Bacterial and viral infections affecting lungs will continue till the second week of March.
Doctors in the UAE have warned of a new wave of bacterial and viral infections peaking this month and will continue till the second week of March.
The infections are affecting lungs and muscles in adults and children. It is not just viral influenza but a combination of upper and lower respiratory tract infections caused by a combination of air-borne bacteria.
Dr. Sandeep Pargi, Specialist in Respiratory Medicine at Aster Hospital, Mankhool, explained why the number of people affected by respiratory tract infections doubled this year and continues to be a major health issue even as we move into summers.
“This year, we experienced a more severe winter with a (sharp) drop in temperatures and heavy fog conditions. This kind of cold weather causes changes in our respiratory mucosa, making it very dry and prone to an infection build-up. Usually infection causing microbes are always around, but in a weather like this we are more prone to come down with the infection.”
Dr. Pargi said the number of people with flu, cough, cold and wheezing doubled this year because of the weather. “Usually when it is too cold, people tend to stay indoors and everyone in that closed environment breathes the same unhealthy air. The air travels through AC ducts and with dry mucosa, more and more people catch the infection.”
The condition has affected infants and geriatric patients in advanced ages the worst as in both extremes of chronological ages, immunity is compromised.
Dr. Pargi said in cases of adults with other co-morbidities, hospitalisation becomes necessary. “At our hospital, we have been admitting at least six cases each week for this kind of affliction. These are patients with conditions such as asthma, diabetes, history of smoking or other co-morbidities which make it difficult for them to fight the infection.”