Islamabad - Falling mercury in the prevailing cold dry spell has raised chest infections, flu and fever in twin cities .

Frost with chilly winds in morning and evening has increased outdoor patients in public and private hospitals suffering from seasonal diseases.

Executive Director Polyclinic Hospital, Dr Zahid Hussain here on Saturday told APP that severe dry cold weather is quite harmful for people and advised them to cover their bodies properly while going out especially in evening and morning. He said allergy diseases are also on rise in these days and allergy patients are strictly advised to go out in day time only and restrict their activities after sunset.

He asked them to use mask and avoid going out if not so urgent. Secondly he said, patients of chest infections, pneumonia are also on rise these days and people should go for vaccination.

Dr Zahid further said their hospital is also receiving a large number of Gestro patients due to the sub standard and unhygienic food available at food stalls. He asked district health authorities to take action against all those food vendors and recommended to take home cooked food.

For flu and viral infections, ED Poly Clinic hospital said those suffering from flu should avoid interacting with others and other should go for vaccination as a precautionary measure in advance. He added that there is a visible change in indoor and outdoor temperatures as mostly people warm their houses with heaters, stoves etc. but all of a suddenly when they step out, cold wave affect them badly.

He urged people to use woolen clothes, warm caps, mittens, socks and shoes rather than open sleepers to keep them save from cold. He also asked to increase intakes of hot drinks to keep their body functions normal. “Use of hot beverages, like green tea, coffee, etc. are good to keep their bodies warm”, he informed.

Zafar Shah, an employee of Pak Secretariat said, “It is hard to go out in evening for house hold or any other urgent work due to freezing cold.” He said, “I feel bad for those who cannot afford proper warm clothes but young boys and girls who consider it an adventure to take any precaution is just stupidity.”

Asma Sham, a mother of three children said, winter vacations in schools has a big sigh of relief for her as the temperature was not bearable for children especially in morning.