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DPH’s guidelines to cope with heat, related illnesses

People are advised to avoid stepping out between 12 pm and 3 pm. Avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon, and do not go out barefoot.

DPH’s guidelines to cope with heat, related illnesses

CHENNAI: The Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPH) has issued instructions to the Deputy Director of Health Services on the heat wave and related illnesses. The official urged the district task force on climate change and human health to plan standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed during the heat wave season 2023.

People are advised to avoid stepping out between 12 pm and 3 pm. Avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon, and do not go out barefoot. Do not consume alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks or drinks with large amount of sugar, as these lead to loss of more body fluids or may cause stomach cramps. Avoid high-protein food and do not eat stale food, noted the advisory. To stay protected from the sun, wear thin loose, cotton garments preferably light-coloured. Cover your head with a hat, cap, towel and other traditional head gear while under direct sunlight. Use an umbrella whenever possible.

Drink sufficient water whenever possible, even if you are not thirsty, and carry drinking water when travelling. They can also use Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) and consume homemade drinks. The public should be updated on the weather condition through newspapers, television, radio and also from the official meteorological department.

The persons suffering from flu like symptoms should be categorized as below:

Category A

• Persons with mild fever plus cough/ sore throat with or without body

ache, headache, diarrhea and vomiting.

• No need to test for influenza

• Oseltamavir not required

• Home Isolation and symptomatic management

Category B

• (i) Symptoms in category A plus High grade fever or severe sore throat

• (ii) Symptoms in Category A plus High risk conditions such as

• Children less than 5 vears • Persons above 65 years

• Pregnant women

• Persons with co-morbities

• Persons with Immuno deficiency / on long term steroid therapy

• No need to test for Influenza

• Home Isolation

• Oseltamavir as per the schedule plus broad spectrum antibiotics

Category C

• Symptoms on signs in Category A and B plus one or more of the following

• Breathlessness, Chest pain, drowsiness, fall in blood pressure, sputum mixed with blood, bluish discolouration of nails.

• Children with flu like illness like plus somnolence, high and persistent fever, inability to feed well, convulsions, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing etc.

• Worsening of underlying chronic conditions.

• They need to be tested for Influenza

• They need immediate hospitalization and treatment

It is also advised that Category A and B can confined themselves to home isolation.


•Isolation for 7 days in well ventilated room

• Avoid mixing up with public and high risk groups in the family

• Follow cough etiquette, wear mask all the time

• Frequent hand wash with soap and water or use of sanitizer • Take plenty of oral fluids

• Take Medications as advised by the doctor

• Aspirin should be avoided

• Observe for early warning symptoms and signs


As vaccines take about 2-3 weeks to develop the immunity, it has been advised to administer at least 1 month prior to the commencement of the season.

Vaccination is prioritized as below:

1) Healthcare workers

2) Pregnant women

3) Persons with chronic illnesses

4) Children with diseases like Asthma, Neuro developmental conditional

Patients are also advised to wear "triple layer mask" while stepping out.

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