Doctors warn of spurt in leptospirosis cases in Maharashtra

People with a history of wading through flood water should consult a doctor for prophylactic treatment of leptospirosis within 72 hours

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 09:21 AM IST
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Mumbai: Amid the extended rain, the doctors have warned that there might be a rise in the number of leptospirosis and dengue cases across the city.

As per the statistics, 169 leptospirosis cases have been reported in Mumbai from January 1-September 4, followed by 382 dengue cases during the same period. Doctors have urged citizens to consult doctors if they have any symptoms.

“We urged citizens to consult doctors if they have walked through stagnant or flowing water during heavy rains as such waters contain a bacterium called leptospira. If a person comes in contact with such contaminated water, he is more likely to be infected with leptospirosis,” said a health officer from the civic health department.

Dr Malagala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC, said they have advised people with a history of wading through flood water should consult a doctor for prophylactic treatment of leptospirosis within 72 hours.

“All the private practitioners are hereby requested to start doxycycline to all fever patients during monsoon season as early treatment. Doxycycline prevents organ involvement and other complications thereby preventing deaths due to leptospirosis,” said Dr Gomare.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the infectious disease is caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Leptospira.

The disease is detected in areas which have witnessed excessive rainfall or flooding. The diseases can also affect animals, including pets. It is spread through the urine of infected animals. However, human-to-human transmission occurs very rarely.

An infectious diseases expert said that the sudden change in temperature makes the body vulnerable to certain diseases. A constant oscillation between hot, humid and wet weather makes it conducive for microorganisms to reproduce and thrive.

“People need to see a doctor immediately, as the symptoms are quite similar to those of dengue, malaria, leptospirosis, gastroenteritis and chikungunya. They should take medication as prescribed by the doctor and not attempt any home remedies,” he added.

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