Free Press Journal

Temperatures soar, causing a spike in health issues



Mumbai : The monsoon seems ready to bid adieu to the city but even before that, temperatures have begun soaring, making Mumbaikars feel they are experiencing October’s transition weather a whole month ahead. On September 12, Santacruz recorded a maximum temperature of 34.6 degrees Celsius, while Colaba recorded 31.6 degrees Celsius, four and one degrees above normal respectively. Humidity levels at Colaba and Santacruz were 87 per cent and 81 per cent respectively. Minimum temperatures, however, remained close to normal, around 25 degree Celsius.

On other days, the city has recorded overall temperatures between 30 and 34 degrees Celsius and minimum and maximum humidity levels 65 per cent and 81 per cent respectively. This variation in temperatures for the past few days has resulted in a spurt in cases of viral fever, sore throat, cough, body aches and stomach

ailments. Doctors and health experts say viruses thrive in fluctuating temperatures, which is why there has been a 50 per cent rise in such complaints. Doctors have also reported an increase in hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases in the city and have advised parents of children diagnosed with the condition to keep them home.

“As the temperature fluctuates, there is a 50 per cent rise in the number of patients in civic hospitals suffering from viral infection and stomach ailments,” said a health official. Current weather conditions are favourable for viruses to grow. In addition, with crowds gathering during the festive season, chances of the infection spreading to multiple hosts have increased.

“However, this September, weak monsoon conditions, less moisture and clouding have caused day temperatures to rise and night temperatures to fall, a phenomenon normally seen in October. The city’s average day temperature in September is 30.1 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature is 25.2 degrees Celsius,” said an IMD official.

Meanwhile, doctors at Surya Hospital in Santacruz have said, in the last three months they have treated six times as many cases of HFMD as compared to the same period last year.

“There have been over 3,000 cases since June, as compared to 500 cases during the same period last year. The infection, which is caused by a virus, results in painful reddish blisters in the mouth, hands, feet and thighs. It also leads to fever and sore throat,” said a doctor from Surya Hospital.

Doctors have advised parents to refrain from sending children diagnosed with the condition to school, as the disease is contagious. “The disease is infectious and just like other viral conditions, it can be passed on to other students,” said Dr Om Srivastava, an infectious diseases specialist.