Sunday, 23 June, 2024

Keep warm to prevent cold related illnesses: Doctors


By Sampada A. Khatiwada
Kathmandu, Nov. 22: The country has started witnessing chilly days along with the arrival of winter. According to the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, the temperature of the Kathmandu Valley had dipped to 8.8 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
As cold weather can cause fever, various respiratory problems, pneumonia and trigger asthma, uric acid, and even stroke, the health specialists have warned everyone to take good care of themselves and keep warm.

Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun, chief of the Clinical Research Unit at Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku, said, “Every year, a huge number of patients having symptoms of cough, cold, fever, headache and joint pain visit the hospital during the winter season. They are usually diagnosed with viral fever, typhoid, and pneumonia.”
He added that especially children and the old-aged group are vulnerable during the cold weather.

“Lack of timely treatment can make the disease like pneumonia and typhoid fatal. Thus, taking doctor’s assistance on time is important to stay safe during the cold,” added Dr. Pun.
Similarly, Dr. Anup Bastola, chief consultant at the Teku Hospital, said that getting flu vaccines, wearing masks and warm clothes, sunbathing, drinking soups, regularly eating fruits like apples and oranges are vital in increasing immunity and preventing cold from entering the body.”

The antioxidants present in fruits can help in improving immunity levels, said Dr. Bastola, adding, “We can prevent all sorts of diseases caused by cold weather if we practice a healthy lifestyle.”
Meanwhile, the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is still looming as hundreds of coronavirus cases are being reported daily. The public health experts have warned that the impact of COVID-19 could be more serious during the winters. Dr. Basudev Pandey, former director at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), said that it is necessary to stay alert and continue opting for all the public health standards to keep the virus at bay this season.

“Although the weather is cold, we should not shut doors and windows completely. In order to avoid contracting the virus, it is important to stay in a well-ventilated room. Also, gathering in public places or at homes by lighting firewood or heaters should be avoided. Physical distancing is a must to stay safe from COVID-19,” Dr. Pandey added.
COVID-19, if contracted during the cold weather, could be dangerous as it triggers various diseases including pneumonia. Thus, we must continue wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining physical distance, said Dr. Pandey.

Moreover, according to Dr. Prajjwal Pudasaini of Civil Hospital, cold weather and long exposure to heater could cause various skin problems.
“Problems like dryness and itchiness of the skin, skin burn, psoriasis, dermatitis, dry and chapped lips, acne, and dandruff among others are common during the winters,” he said.