Heatwave, unhygienic food increase risk of seasonal infections

ISLAMABAD  –  Water and food-borne seasonal infections on the rise in the twin-cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad as the current intense heatwave that has engulfed many parts of Pakistan has made favourable conditions for such infections to transmit rapidly.

The consumption of unhygienic food and locally made beverages has added to the situation as all the major public and private hospitals in the twin-cities including Holy Family Hospital, District Headquarters Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) received a large number of patients with gastroenteritis.

One the major reasons behind the transmission of water-borne infections such as viral hepatitis A&E, and gastroenteritis is the inferno-like temperatures that are hitting the country hard and compelling people to consume more water and locally prepared juices, said Dr Naeem Yousaf.

“My children were also affected with diarrhea as they went for swimming to beat the heat and unintentionally swallowed contaminated water of the swimming pool,” he added.

We received enormous number of patients at District Headquarters Hospital during the Eid days, informed Dr Arshad Satti, adding that the major reason behind this unexpected increase in the number of gastroenteritis patients was the consumption of ‘channa chaat’, ‘dahi bhallas’, fruit dishes, and colourful juices at Eid, which were prepared in extremely unhygienic conditions.

“Gastroenteritis, also known as gastro, is an infection of stomach and intestine which shouldn’t be taken casually as it is one of the major causes of death in the country. During the hot and humid days, every citizen should take extra care especially of children and elderly people in order to avert the infection,’ he added.

Dr Arshad recommended taking gastro patients immediately to hospitals if they develop symptoms such as intractable vomiting, diarrhea with bleeding, decreased urine formation, post diarrhea bowel obstruction, altered consciousness, and intestinal perforation.

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