The temperature fluctuation of over 20°C in the past few days in Pune, India has caused an increase in the cases of chicken pox, fever, gastroenteritis and typhoid. To paraphrase Avinash Bhondwe, the senior vice-president of Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Maharashtra :
” The fluctuations in temperature – the cold wave followed by the high daytime temperature has led to a viral surge – a 40% increase in flu and upper respiratory tract (UTI) infections has been documented here in Pune.”
Pediatrician Neha Naik mentions that cases of chicken pox, usually reported in summer, had also surfaced. “This is a very unusual season for adults and children to suffer from chicken pox. But the huge temperature difference seems to be predisposing people to it. We have got four chicken pox cases in the last 15 days apart from recording a surge in upper respiratory tract infections,” said Naik.
Ottawa Public Health has seen a drastic drop in chicken pox cases due to the publicly funded vaccination programme, where the incidence of visiting the GP due to chicken pox has dropped over 70%.
A study commissioned by Public Health Ontario (PHO) called “Twenty years of medically attended pediatric varicella and herpes zoster in Ontario, Canada: a population-based study” also shows that the hospitalisation rate has also decreased by 59%.
Over a period of 3 years, the number of cases reported to PHO has decreased from 279 in 2010 to 65 in 2013 to 37 in 2014.