Gastroenteritis makes its presence felt as mercury rises | Pakistan Today

Gastroenteritis makes its presence felt as mercury rises

The number of gastroenteritis and skin patients is on the rise in major city hospitals, as the mercury rises and low quality food stalls mushroom in the provincial metropolis, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to medical experts, incidence of skin and stomach-related diseases increases in summers, as various stalls selling low quality drinks and foodstuffs surface all over the city. They said that continued power outages further add to the problem, as bacteria thrive in food when refrigerators stop working during load shedding. Talking to Pakistan Today, Mayo Hospital Dermatology Head Professor Atif Kazmi said that the number of skin patients has increased by 50 percent, with a majority coming with prickly heat.
“Other diseases include fungal infections, skin allergies, skin rash, hair fall, eczema, chicken pox and warts,” he said adding that diseases are caused by sweating and people should sit in the shade and “if those who can afford should use air conditioners”. He said that people should avoid sharing towels, drink more water, juices, avoid direct sunlight, eat a balanced diet, avoid using different brands of soaps and shampoos and only stick to one to avoid catching skin diseases. Young Doctors Association (YDA) General Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi said that from 10 to 15 patients a day, the number of gastro patients has risen to 50 a day in Mayo Hospital and it would rise even further as the heat wave becomes more intense.
He said that refrigerators are not working most of the time due to power outages and bacteria thrive in food items. With the arrival of summer, kiosks and low quality food and drink stalls have mushroomed in the city further contributing to a rise in diseases. “Avoid eating food from outside and try to drink mineral water or boiled water to avoid infection. Also try to eat fresh and clean food. It is the responsibility of the district officer (food) of the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) to check such food stalls. Many stalls are using cloth dyes instead of food colours in drinks causing a lot of stomach-related diseases,” he added.
Lahore DO (Food) Dr Masood Ashraf said that most of gastro diseases are caused by water and sanitation problems. “Teams of CDGL are raiding different sites on a daily basis to check sale of low quality drinks and food items. We have already confiscated a lot of poor quality stuff from various parts of the city and are trying our best to ensure that only good quality food items are sold,” he added.

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