With soaring temperatures in Delhi, some hospitals in the national capital have reported cases of patients complaining of dehydration and vomiting. Experts say that keeping oneself properly hydrated and having water-rich vegetables and fruits will guard one against such illnesses.
Delhi has been reeling under heatwave-like conditions for the last three days and recorded a maximum temperature of 43.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday, the highest in July since 2012, with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) saying there is "no chance" of monsoon reaching the city till July 7". "We have started getting cases of dehydration, vomiting and nausea due to the continuous rising temperature in Delhi. In the past one week, we have received 10 such cases at Aakash Healthcare. Even people working from home have come in with complaints of stomach ache and headache due to the very high temperature," Dr Vikramjeet Singh, Senior Consultant-Internal Medicine, Aakash Healthcare.
The senior doctor said possible reasons are lack of ventilation that causes sweating, heat exhaustion, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Concurring with Singh, Dr Mugdha Tapdiya, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, said that in the last one week, they have seen cases of people coming with high grade fever or complete dehydration.
"The reasons are exposure to sun for a long time or remaining in a closed atmosphere without proper ventilation. Power cuts and inability to afford coolers due to unemployment are also reasons for people falling sick," she said. She said that delivery boys and construction labourers are the most affected due to their exposure to the sun.
She advised staying inside a ventilated area and drinking at least four to five litres of fluids, including water, buttermilk, aam panna, bel sharbat and lemon juice. Singh advised intake of fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber and strawberries to counter the heat. He also cautioned against staying inside AC rooms for long hours.
"People who sit in ACs all day long tend to have less exhaustion but it is not advisable to sit in ACs for such a long duration it increases the risk of dehydration as well as respiratory problems, such as asthma, and dry eyes and skin. Avoid staying in ACs for all day as such people are more prone to develop heat exhaustion if AC is not available," he said. The doctor suggested planting trees around one's house and nurturing indoor plants as they help in cooling down the surroundings.
Tapdiya said that since the pandemic situation is under control, they are seeing some patients coming to the hospital. "There is still some fear of the coronavirus, so there are not many patients. Had the situation been normal, the number of patients would have been on the higher side," she added.
Dr Madhu Handa, medical director of Moolchand Hospital said, they have not received any such cases yet but if the heatwave continues for another week or 10 days, they are likely to get such cases. On Tuesday, Delhi recorded the first heatwave of this summer with the mercury levels rising to 43 degrees Celsius.
A heat wave swept the national capital on Wednesday, too, with the mercury soaring to 43.6 degrees Celsius, the highest recorded this year so far, the IMD said.