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Spike in cases of respiratory illness, viral infection in Rajouri, Poonch districts

Experts also fear reduction in crop yield
12:44 AM Jan 13, 2024 IST | Sumit Bhargav
spike in cases of respiratory illness  viral infection in rajouri  poonch districts
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Rajouri, Jan 12: The ongoing dry cold weather conditions have started to take toll on human health with a spike in cases of respiratory illness and viral infections like influenza. The spike is also visible in the cases registered in Associated Hospital of Government Medical College (GMC) Rajouri.

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Doctors have advised people to stay alert and follow all necessary precautions from dry cold while agriculture scientists of Krishi Vigyaan Kendra (KVK) are fearing a big affect on crop yield.

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In twin districts Rajouri and Poonch, like other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, dry cold weather is being witnessed. There was very low rainfall in last two months.

Incharge Head of Department, Chest and TB diseases department in GMC Rajouri, Dr Mohammad Zaeem Khan informed that there is almost a three times rise in footfall of patients in Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) in GMC Rajouri hospital for last couple of weeks.

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"This is severe dry season. Although number of patients with respiratory illness and influenza in winters witnesses a rise but this condition is more troublesome this year as it is dry cold season due to lack of rainfall," said Dr Zaeem.

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He added that there is almost three times increase in patients and most of them are having respiratory illness alongwith influenza which some a times also convert into pneumonia.

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Dr Zaeem further said that majority of the patients who are reaching GMC Associated Hospital Rajouri are having mild to moderate infection but “we fear rise in this intensity of infection among patients if this dry cold conditions persists for a couple of weeks.”

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He further said that dry cold is only reason for this spike and people should follow all necessary SOPs and preventions that include use of lukewarm water for drinking purpose, using face masks especially while driving two wheelers or moving in duty place, avoiding over-crowded place and to strictly avoid self medication.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Incharge of Krishi Vigyaan Kendra (KVK) Rajouri, Dr Arvind K Isher said that a severe dry season is prevailing in the region with only two rainy days in last two months which is a cause of concern. He said that only 22 mm of rainfall has been received in last two months during two rainy days which otherwise should have been around 60 mm.

Dr Arvind, who is an agriculture scientist, further said that main affect due to dry season will be crop yield.

"In today’s condition, we fear a damage of around 50 percent yield of sown wheat crop and this damage and reduction in crop yield will increase further in case there is no rainfall in next few weeks. We believe that there should be adequate rainfall within 45 days of crop sowing but it has not happened this year,”he said.

The Agriculture scientist further said that negligible rainfall in last two months besides adversely affecting crop health has also badly impacted water table and it has already started to affect natural water sources alongwith causing shrinking of rivers and river bodies.

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