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Online doctor consultation platforms see surge in queries on viral influenza during monsoon
The rains may bring respite from the scorching sun, but the humid weather becomes an ideal breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

The collection of stagnant water in potholes across the city further encourages the growth of the deadly Aedes mosquito, responsible for causing dengue and chikungunya. Water-borne diseases due to poor hygiene and sanitation also drastically rise during these months. 

With long traffic jams bringing the city to a standstill, and increased awareness about hospital acquired infections, more and more people are seeking advice on how to treat the sudden surge of influenza cases online. 

In fact, online medical consultation platforms such as Lybrate are witnessing a surge in the number of queries on viral influenza and other monsoon-related illnesses. Lybrate, India's first and largest online doctor consultation platform has witnessed a 40 per cent jump in such queries and expects the number to grow further in the coming days. The platform has in the past week itself seen a 76 per cent increase in the number of queries on common cold and flu, 58 per cent on dengue, and a 65 per cent rise in queries on water-borne diseases such as diarrhea.

Speaking about how Lybrate makes online consultations easier for people, Mr Saurabh Arora, CEO, Lybrate, said, "Lybrate seamlessly connects doctors and patients through its mobile health app, thereby making healthcare more accessible. People can now avoid traffic jams, especially when they are unwell and can consult specialist doctors from the comfort of their homes. They can also opt for at-home lab tests through Lybrate Lab+, a service directly linked to the mobile app, which allows reports to be shared automatically with doctors."

The case of a Lybrate user, Vikas Kumar (name changed) is worth a mention here. On his way to work, Vikas seemed to feel unwell and feverish. It was a day with heavy rain and endless traffic jams. Going to a doctor seemed impossible since he was already late for the meeting and the jam was not helping at all. He decided to consult a doctor online using the Lybrate app. Not only did he get expert advice on his condition and what steps to take to feel better, he also saved time. His chances of getting hospital-acquired infections also reduced since he did not have to come into contact with anyone with a contagious disease.

Sharing his views on monsoon and the associated illnesses,  Dr K K Aggarwal, Senior Physician, said, "Monsoons bring with them many illnesses such as dengue, chikungunya,diarrhoea and gastrointestinal infections. What most people do not realise is that, a majority of these illnesses can be treated at home itself and do not require hospitilization. It is important that public is educated about the seriousness of hospital acquired infections and the need to consider treating non-serious patients on an out-patient basis."

Lybrate has also been raising preventive awareness amongst its users through its Health Feed. Some tips posted by doctors include:

·    One must drink clean and pure water to prevent diarrhoea and gastrointestinal infections.

·    Water should not be allowed to get collected in any empty vessel or other sources.

·    Avoid walking in dirty water during rains as it can cause numerous fungal infections. Feet should always be kept dry and clean.

·    Asthmatic patients should take precautions to prevent dampness and growth of fungus (mold) in and around the house.

·    Consume foods that are light on the stomach such as barley, rice, and wheat.

·    Drink boiled water and eat warm food.

·    Adding ginger and greens to your diet is also beneficial.

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