The number of patients suffering from lung-related illnesses has nearly doubled in the last decade in the city.
Mumbai: The increasingly virulent flu strains and a rise in air pollution in the city seem to have taken their toll on Mumbaikars, according to an infectious disease expert.
The medical emergency departments of state and civic-run hospitals have seen the number of patients suffering from lung-related illnesses nearly doubling in number in the last decade.
The city is now in the grip of different types of fever, especially with symptoms like sore throat, body ache, cold and cough. According to doctors, this is due to fluctuations in weather, and increased allergen and pollen load.
Dr Wiqar Shaikh, head of the department and internal medicine at state-run J.J. Hospital, said, “Change in climate and pollutants present in the air lead to various breathing disorders affecting the respiratory system of Mumbaikars.”
“Every day, I am observing at least 150 to 200 patients with breathing disorders due to the haze. There are patients suffering from asthma, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) who are facing difficulty in inhalation,” he said.
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, Nair Hospital, said, “There has been bad quality of air observed. In such situations, people should stay at home and avoid going to areas with a lot of people and pollution. People with weak respiratory systems should avoid going out during this season.”
The drop in temperature coupled with the rise in pollution leads to increased cough and breathlessness, Dr Om Shrivastav told The Asian Age.
“Most likely there is a new strain causing such upper respiratory ailments. A change in the pattern of virulent flu strains may cause such disorders,” he said. Usually, pollutants present in the air along with the virus keep changing which have to be traced through proper testing in well-equipped laboratories.