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Cold-related diseases on sharp rise

Published : Tuesday, 28 December, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 666

As the winter season keeps deepening with sweeping cold waves across the country, seasonal diseases have begun to wreak havoc on our people. It is worrying to note that unlike previous winter seasons the pattern of winter diseases have been changing fast mainly due to climate change. Patients at our crowded hospitals have complained of enduring prolonged sufferings prompted by a common cold, seasonal flu, short breath, allergies and skin diseases.

The point, however, it was easier to treat most winter related diseases with easily accessible medicines within a short span of time. With change in the pattern of diseases, in many cases common medication is losing efficacy while ensuring quick relief. Moreover, number of patients suffering from cold, cough and short breath has doubled in this winter season.

However, people of all ages suffer from cold and related diseases in the winter season. According to a recent research, previously 60 to 70 patients with severe winter diseases used to seek consultation and treatment at a public hospital on a day, but now the number has increased to 120 to 150 people on daily average. In particular, number of patients suffering from pneumonia, breathing problems and asthma has increased due to winter and these diseases are exacerbated by climate change, air pollution and ignorance.

The ongoing low temperature coupled with cold wind causes diarrhoea, bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses. Children are more vulnerable to these infections because their immune system is weak. And not to forget we have not been freed from the Corona curse. It is time our doctors, health experts team up to jointly address the new health threats posed by climate change. International experts have already opined that there will be a shift in the geographic distribution of diseases, with certain areas having reduced prevalence and other areas increasing.

However, in the short- to medium-term, the health impacts of climate change will be determined mainly by the vulnerability of populations, their resilience to the current rate of climate change and the extent and pace of adaptation. We also must be prepared for long term impacts.

From our end, we would suggest to continue with traditional home remedies to combat cold and related diseases while remaining alert. The first thing is to protect oneself from coming to direct contact with cold air flow. People have to wear warm clothes; especially children and old people should wear warm clothes and have to cover their heads and their ears. People should drink lukewarm water and put on facemask whenever out in the open. As for the media, it is important to launch a countrywide all-out media campaign to raise awareness.

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