Changing weather and childhood illnesses

Changing weather and childhood illnesses
December 15, 2022 / Blog, Paediatrics

The present Bangalore weather change has greatly affected the health of children and adults. Respiratory infections and allergies are on the rise. However, there is a decline in the number of cases of viral hemorrhagic fevers.


Respiratory infections


As the temperatures fall, viruses thrive and lead to respiratory infections. Common viruses include Rhinovirus, influenza virus, Respiratory syncytial virus etc. We are seeing cases of common cold or flu like illness in the outpatient department and in-patient admissions include bronchiolitis (inflammation of small airways <2 years), Croup (involving upper airways) and pneumonias.




Continuous rain due to the cyclone has also contributed to the temperature changes as well as increase in allergy symptoms. Increasing traffic and pollution have also led to a rise in allergies among children. Wind can blow pollen and aggravate allergic rhinitis. Rain and damp weather increase the growth of moulds. Cold weather can trigger an asthma attack. OPD vista for allergic rhinitis and in patient cases include asthma exacerbation.


Viral hemorrhagic fever


During the initial part of rainy season, cases of viral hemorrhagic fever like dengue were also on the rise but now we are seeing a steady fall in these cases. Presentation of dengue includes fever, vomiting, pain abdomen, bleeding, fall in blood pressure and low platelet counts requiring admission.

fever and high temperature in children
fever and high temperature in children

Common symptoms of respiratory infections


  • Stuffy nose/ nose block
  • Nasal discharge
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache/ body pain


Susceptible children


  • Known allergies
  • Asthma
  • Infants
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Immunocompromised state


How to manage at home


  • Good hydration – drink a lot of warm water
  • Symptomatic management – fever control
  • In children with allergies or asthma, ensure medications are taken as advised
  • All medicines are to be taken after consulting the doctor in appropriate dosage and duration


When to consult a doctor


  • Fast breathing/Difficulty in breathing/noisy breathing
  • Infant not feeding well
  • Decreased activity
  • Convulsions
cough etiquette
cough etiquette

Precautions and prevention


  • Hand hygiene
  • Avoid contact with people having cough and cold
  • Do not send children who have a respiratory infection to school or daycare as they may spread to other children
  • Teach children cough etiquette – to cough or sneeze into a tissue or to elbow
  • Flu vaccinations annually
  • Keep children warm – warm clothes, maintain home temperature
  • Minimize outdoor visits and traveling unless absolutely necessary
  • Avoid stagnant water collection surrounding homes to prevent mosquito breeding
  • Homemade nutritious food


Steps taken in MS Ramaiah hospital


  • Counseling parents attending OPD about hand hygiene and infection control measures
  • Ensure complete immunization as per National immunization schedule and offer Influenza and Pneumococcal vaccination
  • Assessment of children presenting to OPD or emergency for danger signs and admission
  • Screen high risk children for H1N1 influenza and treatment
  • Regular follow up of children with asthma and allergies to ensure drug compliance
  • Children requiring oxygen, those having low blood pressure or other critical issues are managed in the pediatric intensive care unit where facilities of high flow oxygen therapy, non-invasive and invasive ventilation are provided as needed
  • In view of measles outbreak in Mumbai, we are vigilant for children having fever and rash, watching out for any cases of measles and associated complications.


Dr. Namitha Ravikumar MD, DM

Asstt. Professor & Paediatric Intensivist

Department of Paediatrics

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