Bengaluru: When her ninemonth-old started vomiting at frequent intervals, Sneha (name changed) panicked. She rushed the baby to hospital where the paediatrician diagnosed him with acute diarrhoea and dehydration. A toddler running fever of 104 degrees was recently hospitalized. The boy was regularly sponged with cold water and administered rehydration fluids.
His parents were told to shield him from the merciless sun. The unrelenting heat has taken a toll on tiny tots, with doctors witnessing a considerable rise in the cases of gastroenteritis, dry pneumonia and respiratory problems. Even adults, with supposedly stronger immune systems, haven’t been spared. General physicians are seeing a large number of patients suffering from heatstroke, urinary infection, indigestion, lung problems and even kidney stones.
Less water intake is to blame for kidney ailments. When Manjunath (name changed), 38, was brought to hospital with a shooting pain in the abdomen and irritation in the urinary tract, doctors knew it was not a minor problem. He was diagnosed with kidney stones and urinary infection. Doctors said his body fluids may have been lost due to excessive sweating.
Poor hygiene among kids leads to illnesses during this season, said Dr Kishore Baindur, head of the paediatric department at St Martha’s Hospital, who treats 10-15 kids every day. “Usually, they don’t wash their hands properly. Even fruits and vegetables have to be cleaned well. The dry heat is generating a lot of dust, which is the root cause of many infections like rashes, respiratory trouble and Madras eye,” he said.
“Heat-induced conditions include high fever, dehydration, decreased urination and diarrhoea. Due to the abysmally high temperatures this year, we are seeing even healthy children complaining of headache, fatigue and indigestion,” added Dr Baindur.
Dr Ashok SN Consultant Medicine, St. Martha’s Hospital “Last year, intermittent showers provided relief from the heat. This time, there’s no escaping it. Those riding two-wheelers are more susceptible to heatstroke. There has been a rise in patients with kidney stones; I get some 30 patients a day”.
SKIN TOO BEARS THE BURNT
A vacation is a time to unwind. But for Manjula (name changed), 28, and her 8-year-old daughter, it was a stressful period. The duo came back with white patches and pimple on their feet, cheeks and hands. Once again, the scorching heat was to blame. They were told to use moisturizers and mild steroids lotions to get rid of the infection. When a 30-year-old marketing professional visited a dermatologist with rashes on his neck, the doctor said it was because of sweat having a reaction with his perfume.
Dr.Premlatha, dermatologist at Hairline International Hair and Skin Clinic, said: “We are seeing around 60% women, 20% men and 20% kids coming in with various skin and hair ailments. Skin tanning, polymorphic light eruptions, wrinkles and photo ageing are the most common problems due to the soaring mercury. “Photo sensitive agents like psoralen are used in some perfumes, which cause allergic reactions when exposed to sunlight, the doctor added.
Dr Ashok said: “In children, we are mostly coming across maliaria, a condition causing skin rashes/diffused rashes. It affects areas which sweat excessively – scalp, armpit and neck. The rashes are accompanied with itching.
“Apart from viral allergies and fungal infections, extreme heat can also lead to hair fall. Many patients are suffering from erythema multiform (kind of rash).