BENGALURU : The assurance by health experts that vaccines are the best tool to defeat the novel coronavirus has failed to stop the rumour mills. Social media posts continue to popularise self-medication like drinking hot water or kashaya to prevent Covid-19.
Doctors, however, caution people against overdoing these ‘precautionary measures’ as it could be counterproductive. And the matter gets worse if children are involved.
While it is common for adults to visit hospitals with gastroenteritis problems, including burnt food pipes, damaged oesophagus, fissures etc due to an increase in consumption of hot water or kashaya to ‘prevent’ Covid-19 and ‘boost immunity’, doctors in Bengaluru are seeing children reporting similar problems. Constipation, acidity and constant burps included.
“With increasing fear about children likely to be the worst-hit in the third wave, many parents are forcing their kids to drink only hot water, do steam inhalation thrice a day and even drink kashaya at least 2-3 times a day. This is leading to severe gastric issues in children, some even coming to us with problems like bleeding from the nose, boils in the mouth, acidity, problem while urinating and indigestion,” said Dr Sanjay Gururaj, Paediatrician and Physician at Shanti Hospital and Research Centre.
Meanwhile, Dr Ravindra BS, Director, Department of Gastroenterology, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, says that they are seeing an increase in adults coming with burnt food pipes, rectal bleeding, gastritis, heartburn, constipation, piles and fissures in the second wave.
“While people are drinking kashaya 6-7 times a day, over drinking of hot water and medicines, including steroids, are the main reasons causing these problems. In severe Covid cases, it is mainly due to steroids that they develop constipation, acidity, gastritis etc. Even blood thinners are to be blamed,” he adds.
Paediatricians say wearing masks, maintaining hygiene and following Covid norms are enough to protect the children from catching the virus.
Dr Asha Benakappa, HoD, Department of Paediatrics, Chandramm Dayananda Sagar Institute of Medical Education and Research, says immunity boosters are a myth.
“Kashayas have no role in preventing Covid or enhancing immunity. Drinking boiled water will cause burns and will not kill the virus.”
“We have to live with this virus till 2023! So don’t mess with your lives,” she concludes.