Hyderabad: Unpredictable weather conditions prevailing in Hyderabad for last one month is having a telling effect on denizens with the number of infectious cases like cough, cold and throat irritation going up. When compared to the same period last year, allergic cough is more severe this time with thousands of people getting affected. Swati, a resident of Malkajgiri, is down with fever for last week but there is no relief from her throat infection. Citizens busy with their daily chores ignore visiting a doctor and do self-medication like K V Ravi, a resident of Mettuguda. “I have persistent cough and have changed three syrups but of no use,” he said. Dr Kishore, a private practitioner, said that falling temperature is common cause but in instances where cough does not reduce, steroids are the option. Children are the most vulnerable as a senior doctor finds it. “Many children are getting affected as they have low immunity. Most of the parents ignore the advice to avoid eating out and maintain personal hygiene. Particulate matter in the air too is a problem and people who are allergic need to be careful,” he advised. People, who do not get relief within four days, need to go for a detailed check up, opine doctors. It is during nights that people suffer with cough more. M Vijayan, an ayurvedic practitioner, said that grandma remedies such as gargling with warm salt water would give relief. The nodal centre for seasonal diseases, Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Tropical and Communicable Diseases, popularly known as Fever hospital, has witnessed a hike in patients in the last few days. A senior doctor said that there is a 20 per cent increase in patients and a majority of the complaints are cough and cold. Gandhi Hospital superintendent Dr J Venkateshwar Reddy said that this is a seasonal phenomena and there was no need to ring alarm bells. When asked if there were any new swine flu cases, Reddy said that on January 5 a woman was brought to the hospital in a critical condition and she died and there is another woman admitted for the last 20 days but she is improving without confirming or denying whether the two were swine flu cases.