Respiratory diseases rise as air quality worsens

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) As the pollution continues to rise in the national capital, health experts on Friday said the number of patients with respiratory diseases has increased 30 per cent in the last three weeks.

According to the experts, the situation is going to further deteriorate as with the advent of winter smoke particles are likely to increase the smog.

“The smoke and dust particle, which remain suspended in the air, are so small that they easily enter the lungs while breathing and cause respiratory symptoms,” said S.P. Byotra, head of Internal Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

“While such respiratory symptoms are more common in winters, when smoke particles form smog, in the last three four weeks we have witnessed manifold increase in patients with respiratory symptoms, probably due to smoke from burning of agricultural waste in neighbouring states,” Byotra said.

Priyan Mehta, a senior doctor at the pulmonary department of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, said there has been a rise in the number of patients of bronchitis and asthma, whose condition is turning worse due to the rising pollution.

According to Mehta, RML hospital witnessed at least 200 patients with bronchitis in the last two weeks.

Delhi on October 27 breathed the most polluted air of the month as the Air Quality Index (AQI) dipped to the season’s threshold at 355 — labelled ‘very poor’.

Beside Delhi, other cities that share the same air-shed or similar climate zone, including Agra, Kanpur and Faridabad, also suffered an equally bad air quality or even worse.

“Smoke from burning of agricultural waste in the neighbouring states, firecrackers from Diwali and winters to follow up, undeniably Delhi is heading towards one of the most polluted seasons,” said Vijay Kannan, founder of India’s biggest anti-Pollution campaign CLAIM.

–IANS

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