Acute respiratory infection (ARI) cases have risen by 5 million in India, since 2012. Increasing air pollution, an avoidable cause, seems to be the major reason for this dramatic rise. Even before 2012, ARI cases had been on the rise, however respiratory-related deaths have been on a decline since then.
According to the 'National Health Profile 2015', 2,932 people died due to ARI as opposed to 3,513 in the previous year. The report also states the adverse health effects caused due to air pollution. It was noted that ARI had "accounted for the maximum number of cases."
The report stated that 3.5 crore ARI cases were reported in India in 2014, and 35,000 people died due to air pollution-related causes over a period of 10 years. Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal reported the highest number of deaths due to ARI in 2014, at 619 and 625, respectively. Coronary thrombosis, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, lung cancer, are just some of the diseases caused by air pollution.
The ongoing festival season and extensive use of firecrackers is bound to increase respiratory infections in the next couple of months. The World Health Organization (WHO) placed China and India among the worst affected when it came to deaths caused by air pollution.