There has been a “notable increase” in cold and flu cases in Dubai, particularly among children, during the recent spells of heavy rain that hit the country, doctors said. Khaleej Times.
“We have observed an increase in cases of acute respiratory infections, such as flu and Covid-19, during rainy weather,” said Dr Adil Sajwani, consultant family medicine at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital in Dubai.
Since residents often limit outdoor activities during unstable weather, there is a higher chance of transmission at home and in the office, the doctor added.
Children under five are among the most affected, and people over 60 report high fever, colds, cough and joint pain, said Dr. Osama Elsayed Rezk Elassy, clinical assistant professor, consultant and division head. at the pediatrics and neonatology center of Thumbay University Hospital.
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Parents are urged to be more observant of their children’s health and watch out for symptoms such as high fever, cold, cough and joint pain.
“Waterborne infections can also be a concern, highlighting how crucial it is to practice good hygiene and ensure everyone has access to safe water,” Dr Elassy said.
Despite making people more prone to respiratory infections, rain can also cause a number of other illnesses, including those transmitted by mosquitoes.
“Flooding and stagnant water can lead to the growth of waterborne pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. “These pathogens can cause a variety of illnesses, including diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory problems,” said Dr. Grace Fabrizia Graziani, family medicine specialist at Aster Royal Clinic Arabian Ranches.
“Floodwater can contain debris and sharp objects that can cause cuts, scrapes and other injuries. “Children are particularly vulnerable to these injuries because they are more likely to play in and around water,” she added.
Here are some of the symptoms of illness that residents should watch out for:
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle pains
It is essential to ensure the safety of children in the midst of heavy rain.
“Insist on good hygiene and annual flu shots for children six months and older, especially those who interact with other people and children. Provide them with drinking water, proper clothing and a well-balanced diet,” said Dr Sajwani.
Parents should also remind children to avoid standing water. “Prioritize their health by ensuring adequate ventilation, treating symptoms as soon as possible, and thinking about keeping them home from school during heavy rain,” Dr. Elassy said.
“Watch for symptoms, seek medical attention immediately if necessary, and, if possible, adjust schedules or activities during prolonged periods of heavy rain,” he added.
One way to reduce health risks during bad weather is to modify children’s routines and environments.
Here are some other tips:
- Dress them appropriately for the weather and practice good hygiene.
- Limit outdoor activity: This will help reduce your exposure to flooding, standing water, and mosquitoes.
- Keep children’s living spaces clean and dry: this prevents the growth of mold and mildew.
- Use a dehumidifier – this can help remove moisture from the air, thereby reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces periodically.
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