Cold wave causes rise in URTI cases
LANI ROSE R DIZON
DOHA THE sudden fall in temperature in the recent days marked by cold wave and strong winds has caused a rise in the number of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) cases in Qatar.
As the evening temperature dipped below 10 degree Celsius on Saturday, medical clinics across the country including the emergency department at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have been receiving patients showing symptoms of cough, flu, sore throat, nasal congestion, tonsillitis and common cold.
Charmy, a Filipino expatriate residing in Al Muntaza, said, “Everyone at our house is getting sick.
We have a family living in our flat whose members have all fallen sick with common cold and flu. My one-year-old baby was admitted to the emergency department at the HMC for asthma caused by the weather.” According to Dr Mouayad Qasem, consultant of emergency medicine at the HMC, the department has been receiving an increase in the number of URTI cases over the past few days. “We’ve received 217 URTI cases at the emergency department on Saturday when the temperature dipped to its lowest in years compared to the 176 URTI cases we had received the same day in December last year. Having more cases of upper respiratory tract infection such as common cold is normal during the winter months because cold weather help some viruses to grow quickly and infect humans.
Also, the residents here are accustomed to warm weather and some of them would have difficulty in adjusting to the cold weather,” he added.