Flu has patients flooding OPDs
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Flu has patients flooding OPDs

January 19, 2022

COVID, common cold or flu, people have no clue; viral illness seasonal, say doctors

Mysore/Mysuru: ‘Is my viral COVID?’ City doctors are flooded with anxious queries in the present flu season. The similarity of COVID symptoms with that of seasonal cough-and-cold has left many people confused and worried and almost all OPDs (Outpatient Departments) and clinics are witnessing a high influx of patients since the last three to four days.

While patients are scurrying for medical advice, a section of doctors believe the fright is unfounded in most cases, since these are more likely to be an ordinary bout of non-COVID viral attack, common at this time of the year. Apart from flooding the OPDs of healthcare centres, many are rushing to diagnostic centres for self-evaluation and to medical stores for over-the-counter medicines.

A number of people experiencing fever, sore throat and irritation in the upper respiratory tract are asking doctors whether they have been infected by the Omicron variant of Coronavirus. Doctors said this is another flu season and many people were having infections of the upper respiratory tract.

Seasonal infection: “This is a common phenomenon witnessed from December end to January end and during June and July due to change in seasons. These infections do not have any impact on the lungs and patients recover between four and six days, though the coughing might linger for a few more days. People must not panic and must remain in isolation,” said Senior Physician Dr. Mohammad Ghouse.

Health officials said that 35 percent of the people who are getting RT-PCR-tested with symptoms of common cold and flu are turning positive and this is driving the numbers up north in Mysuru.

“Testing has increased and there is a heavy rush at all testing booths and a majority of them are turning positive. People are turning panicky but we have observed that the symptoms are mild. In case of flu, when one member of a family contracts the virus, the entire family is infected,” said an officer.

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Paracetamol and steam inhalation: Gopala Gowda Shanthaveri Memorial Hospital Managing Director Dr. H.V. Santhrupth said that the infection rate is high now but mild. “As long as the symptoms are mild, there is no need to panic. Watch out for breathing difficulty and if you find breathing cumbersome, consult a doctor immediately. Till then, be at home,  take paracetamol for fever and steam inhalation to check congestion. Also, keep gargling with Betadine solution,” he added.

District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. K.H. Prasad told reporters that instead of rushing to the hospitals people can get tested and if the status is positive, they can remain in home isolation and take medication. If the results are negative, the symptoms will clear in two to three days.

People must not panic

Some people, especially those suffering from fever, are landing up in the outpatients departments in the hospitals. “People are asking us whether they have COVID. Naturally, the next thing they have in mind is whether this is an Omicron. But there are many who are now only suffering from the common cold,” said Dr. Lakshmegowda, another Senior Physician.

Many patients in OPDs at K.R. Hospital, Cheluvamba Hospital, District Hospital, PKTB Sanatorium, JSS Hospital and many private hospitals and clinics are those who have complaints of fever, sore throat and irritation in nose and throat.

“People must not panic as it is a seasonal infection and the recovery is usually within four and six days. Normal telephonic consultation with doctors or calling helplines set up by the District Administration will help. A vital difference between COVID and these infections is that the common cold affects the upper respiratory tract and it has no impact on the lungs,” Dr. Lakshmegowda said.

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