Beware of Winter Ailments [opinion]

| May 18, 2015

Dr Tommy Palai of Princess Marina Hospital has cautioned the nation of the aent of several ailments occasioned by the winter season.

“Although winter provides a break from the scorching hot season, it also exposes us to several ailments,” he said. Dr Palai said some of the ailments were expected.

“From the common cold, to sore throat, cold sores as well asthmatic attacks, these are some of the medical conditions that are expected to occur frequently,” he said.

Starting off with the common cold, he noted that more than 200 viruses were known to cause the cold, making treatment to be aimed at symptomatic relief. He pointed out that patients usually complained of headache, fatigue, runny nose, fever and sneezing, dry cough.

He added that the spread was usually through the mouth, nose or hand to hand contact. He said regular hand washing was recommended to avoid common cold where upon bed rest, paracetamol or ibuprofen for fever as well having lots of fluids (soup) was the treatment of choice.

He, however, pointed out that contrary to popular belief, antibiotics did not work against colds or flu.

Dr Palai further said asthma was also a condition that could be exacerbated by seasonal changes as well as infections. He said attacks ranged from mild to severe requiring hospitalisations and sometimes intensive care depending on the individual.

He also noted that it was important for asthmatics to avoid known triggers, citing aspects such as keeping warm in the winter and precautionary measures in the presence of individuals suffering from other airborne infections. He aised asthmatics to always carry their spray at all times.

He added that flu was a major killer for vulnerable people such as the elderly and persons with chronic illnesses. He noted that in these groups of people, the common cold could even turn into a secondary infection, affecting the ear, throat or lungs.

In conclusion, Dr Palai said the key message would always be that prevention was better than cure, and that the necessary steps should be taken to avoid these conditions, notwithstanding keeping warm all the time in winter to avoid common cold and flu.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

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