As mercury rises in Kashmir, cases of eye infection, gastroenteritis surge

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Doctors are witnessing a rise in the number of patients reporting with eye infections and gastroenteritis in Kashmir in the past few days, a phenomenon they attribute to the rising temperature and humidity. 
Stressing that there is no need to panic, a list of precautionary measures can keep these infections at bay, public health experts said.
The number of patients reporting with diarrhea, vomiting and acute stomach pain at the hospitals in Srinagar has increased in the past few days. 
Doctors at these hospitals said that due to weather conditions as are prevalent these days, such infections are expected to rise. 
Dr Saleem Khan, head department of community medicine at Government Medical College (GMC) said that every year during summers, gastroenteritis cases rise. “These microorganisms, and there is a variety of them, are most active during this season,” he said.
In children too, cases of acute diarrhea have been seen on rise. Dr Altaf Hussain, noted pediatrician in Srinagar said that the infections take place primarily due to consumption of contaminated water. “People cannot leave the responsibility of clean water on government. It is imperative that they boil water before consuming it,” he said. 
He also warned against consumption of cut fruits available on roadside, uncovered food, ice-cream from street vendors where cold chain may be disrupted and ensuring clean hands. “Hand wash is one of the most important practice that can prevent a number of infections, including gastroenteritis,” he said.
Doctors at GMC Srinagar said that although there has been a surge in viral conjunctivitis in the past week, the numbers were not alarming. 
“Viral conjunctivitis is a self limiting disease and takes about four to five days to resolve,” said Dr Tariq Qureshi, head department of Ophthalmology at the medical college. 
He said that the infection needs to be contained and prevented from spreading to other people. “It is a contagious disease and people must exercise basic hygiene practices to stop others from getting it,” he said.
The symptoms of this disease, Dr Parvez Handoo Ophthalmologist at GMC Srinagar said, were pain in the eyes coupled with irritation, redness of eyelid, discharge, dryness, itchiness, puffy eyes, watery eyes.
“Eye secretions should not reach others through hand contact, handkerchiefs or otherwise,” said Dr Qureshi on management of conjunctivitis adding, “If children show such kind of symptoms, it’s advisable not to send them to school till the infection is over.”
 
 
PRECAUTIONS
Boil water before consumption
Avoid cut fruits, uncovered foods, ice-cream from street vendors 
Keep hands clean 

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