Srinagar, Oct 15: The valley- based chest specialists have advised people especially those having respiratory issues to take extra precautions before the winter sets in.
According to the doctors, winters can be a challenging time for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other chest related diseases.
“People need to take precautions. Those who are suffering from chronic chest diseases need to take extra precautions like vaccinations, hygiene maintenance, proper diet and medicines suggested by their doctors,” Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, Head, Pulmonary Medicine CD Hospital Srinagar told Rising Kashmir.
Dr Naveed said that respiratory issues exacerbate in COPD patients during winters. “Those patients should consult a specialist doctor before winter approaches,” he said.
“Flu vaccination is important for such patients as there is not only COVID -19 disease, there are other infections too in the air during winters. Influenza vaccination and pneumococcal vaccine can be helpful for such people. People who are at high risk of developing bacterial pneumonia should get themselves vaccinated,” he said.
Doctors say that high risk people that includes children, elderly persons and people with severe ailments and with low immunity should consult a doctor if symptoms are severe or continue for a longer time.
Dr Khurshid Ahmad Dar, Associate Professor at the Chest Diseases Hospital here, said, “Infections are very common during winters. People with chronic diseases and severe flu should be very cautious in the cold season."
“I advise people to take proper precautions. Fever, common flu, congestion of nose and throat, and cough are usually the common symptoms of seasonal variations,” he said.
“Health problems like respiratory tract infections, sinus and flu are common in the cold season,” he added.
The doctors say they recommend people to be physically active, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food, have proper sleep and take less stress.
In India, including J&K, flu mostly strikes between November and April months and doctors suggest that people should get flu shots before winter sets in, so that antibodies are developed on time.
They recommend people to get WHO recommended flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere for 2021-22 as strains mutate every year.
Besides respiratory problems, the cases of H1N1 infection (swine flu) also show an upward trend. In the last five to six years, swine flu cases have increased in Kashmir especially during winters.
Professor and HOD, Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar, Dr Salim Khan told Rising Kashmir that people should take flu shots to boost their immunity.
“H1N1 cases usually increase during winters. So, people should take all the precautionary measures. Elderly patients should avoid outdoor cold exposure in the morning,” Dr Khan said.
He said people with respiratory ailments and allergies should also avoid refrigerated food.