Thiruvananthapuram: Flu and other seasonal viral infections continue to be reported from across Kerala in large numbers as the winter advances. The change in weather, especially intermittent rain during the winter season, is also contributing to the spread of the disease.
Flu (influenza) which is often accompanied by difficulties, including fever, body pain, cough, and breathing problems is spreading rapidly.
Every day 9,000 to 10,000 persons seek treatment for flu in government hospitals alone. Last month, a total of 2.7 lakh people sought treatment for it in government hospitals. If the figures for private hospitals too are included, the tally will cross 3.5 lakh. However, those needing in-patient treatment are fewer in number.
Influenza gets aggravated in people with less immunity, like the elderly, those who suffer from other major diseases, and those who have undergone transplantation. Breathing difficulty and cough prolong in people who had been afflicted with COVID-19 and whose lungs are weak.
Cough formation and resultant pneumonia contraction have increased in children.
The influenza virus causes a multitude of bodily issues. Those who have influenza experience body pain, exhaustion and breathing difficulty. Dysentery that accompanies a normal fever, cold or even pneumonia is also common.
Influenza aggravates in people with less immunity. In rare cases, it affects the brain also.
The virus enters the body through the mouth and nostrils as in the case of COVID-19. Hence the best prevention mode is to wear masks in public and disinfect hands. Those above the age of 60, those suffering from major diseases, and those who have undergone transplantation should take the influenza vaccine once a year. Pregnant women can also take the vaccine.
Those suffering from the disease should take rest while taking the treatment. Rice soup and lemon juice should be taken in ample measure, says Dr K C Ajitha, Associate Professor (General Medicine), Government Medical College, Konni.
Dengue, chikungunya too
Among several people who sought treatment in government hospitals last month, 500 persons were confirmed to have dengue fever and out of these three persons died.
Rat fever (leptospirosis) and chikungunya cases are also being reported. The former claimed the lives of 7 persons in November.
COVID-19 cases low
Now, the good news. The average daily incidence of COVID-19 cases is below 150. Testing for COVID-19 is rarely done in people who come with fever to the Out-Patient wings of hospitals.
Drug shortage in public hospitals
The medicine shortage in government hospitals is continuing. Though sales of antibiotics have increased, patients have to mostly rely on outside pharmacies. Most hospitals too stock up on drugs, including those needed for even nebulization, from outside.