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December 7, 2013

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Hospitals: Surge in breathing problems cases

The city’s hospitals all reported a rise in the number of patients with respiratory problems over the past few days.

Huadong Hospital said there had been a 30 percent increase.

Dr Zhou Min of Ruijin Hospital’s respiratory disease department said outpatients increased 20 to 30 percent, with emergency cases up 50 to 60 percent. “Winter is always the peak time for patients with respiratory syndromes due to the cold weather, while the poor air quality can trigger asthma and lung infections,” she said.

Children, the elderly and people with weak immunity should stay indoors, she said.

Shanghai Children’s Hospital said it had seen more than 5,000 outpatient and emergency cases this week, a quarter more than the same period of last year.

A recent cold front and the haze were said to be the major cause of respiratory infections and asthma in children while almost a third of them suffered from diarrhea.

Doctors say children under 7 usually have weak immunity and are more likely to develop symptoms in winter. They advise parents to make sure their children stay warm.


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