Pneumonia has claimed the lives of 309 chil dren below one year in the city over the last six months, according to the health department. Alarm bells are ringing as there is fear that cases will only increase given the impending Diwali and winter. Pediatricians are seeing a minimum of 20 cases of pneumonia and other respiratory disorders every day .They are blaming it on unpredictable weather and increasing pollution for the spread of infection.

Dr Ranjan Kumar Pejaver, senior pediatrician of neonatology, KIMS, said: “This season respiratory disorders are on the rise. These include really chronic cough accompanied by pneumonia, wheezing and hyperactive airway disorder. Sudden changes in temperature, especially cold air, irritates the children. We are seeing at least 20 cases of pneumonia per day . The main cause is the change of weather and environmental pollution. With the onset of winter and Di wali the numbers are likely o go up because of pollution due to crackers.”

The sudden spell of rain s seen as another reason.”Due to the rains, we are see ng more respiratory disorders among children like viral pneumonia, bronchiolitis and empyema. Kids are showing flu-like symp oms and wheezing. We are seeing 8-10 cases of respiratory infections per day,” said Dr HN Usha, head of department of pediatrics at St Martha’s Hospitals. The good news is dengue cases have dropped. “Cases have gone down compared to figures in June-October. Now we are seeing 3-4 cases per week,” she said.

After pneumonia, viral fever is the big big worry.”We see 18-20 cases of viral fever a day. The infection s p re a d s w i t h we at h e r change and mostly affects children,”said Dr Ranjan, adding, “Beng alur u is known for sudden change in weather, rise and drop of temperature and unexpected showers. That is why viral infections thrive here.”

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Source: TOI-BGLR