SUKKUR - The number of patients with viral diseases like flu, chest infection and pneumonia has increased during the last one week.

The government and private hospitals and clinics witnessed a rush of patients especially infants and children.

According to the doctors, the current weather change is the cause of viral infections especially chest infection and fever in rural and urban parts of the interior Sindh.

Most of the patients especially children contracted viral diseases like influenza, bronchitis, nasal allergy, asthma, soar throat, chest infection, pnemonia, dry cough and scabies.

Flu-related diseases have caught a large number of people particularly children and infants as patients with such diseases are seen in great number at the government as well as private hospitals.

Dr Erum Khokhar said that common cold and flu in children should not be taken lightly as these might lead to lower respiratory tract infections including pneumonia.

She stressed the need to take additional care of the health of children in winter. She said that the parents should dress their children in warm clothes. ‘I also advise the parents not to overheat the children and just put sweater and warm cloths as sometimes overheating is also not good for them.’

Dr Erum said that one of the basic causes of various diseases is that people do not know how to safeguard the children.

He said if proper care was not taken, complications such as ear and sinus infections, pneumonia and high fever might occur.

Dr. Shehla Wali, when contacted said that most of the patients came here from the slum areas and    complained that they could not keep their children warm because of electricity and gas load shedding.

She said that severe cold and dry air may cause respiratory tract infections and as well trigger asthma among the people of all age groups.

‘It is need of the time to create awareness among public regarding protection from infections,’ he said.

Dr Atma Ram, a physician working in the rural area said that the people should use green tea, coffee and tea to avoid viral infections.

Doctors also say that people should pay more attention to the kind of shoes they wear. Shoes should neither be too tight nor should hey squeeze the toes; they should allow space for moving the toes but should not allow feet to be exposed to harsh weather.

We should also avoid high heels on a daily basis and restrict them to occasional use. Dr. Muneer Mangrio suggested that one should give one’s feet a 30-seconds inspection on a daily basis to check for any peeling skin, unnatural moisture or to rule out any discolouration, redness, cracks or other abnormalities.

Upon discovering any of the above mentioned problems we should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

He said that foot care also depends on a good posture. It is important to stand straight, with weight balanced on both feet and the toes pointing straight ahead. If sitting for long periods of time, ensure that one moves his feet and ankles frequently so as to keep blood circulation active.

To avoid diseases, experts suggest keeping the feet dry. Diabetics must take special care of their feet and in case they notice anything unusual they must consult a good doctor as soon as possible.