Mumbai: In the last five years, cases of hepatitis A and E have risen by 16 per cent in the city. As per the data provided by the public health department, 1,184 cases were reported in 2015, which rose to 1,421 in 2019. Hepatitis A/E is an inflammation of the liver that can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis or even liver cancer at a later stage.
Senior officials said that most cases were reported from the Kurla area this year and as a preventive measure, they have undertaken sanitation campaigns related to food and water across the city wards.
“Cases of hepatitis A and E were reported from Sambhaji Chowk, Buddha Colony, CST Road, Mashrani Lane and Garden Lane areas. Physicians from the area agree that they have had a high number of patients complaining of flu-like symptoms that are in line with those of hepatitis, including dark urine, pale stool, fatigue, abdominal pain among others,” said an official.
In 2015, Mumbai recorded 1,184 cases of hepatitis, of which one person died. The number of cases rose to 1,507 in 2016, which was further fell in 2017 and 2018. This year, nearly 1,420 hepatitis cases were reported, of which one person has died. In October alone, there were 70 cases.
Infectious experts said the change in weather and unseasonable rain provide the perfect breeding environment for the virus to spread. This is common when a city comes under the influence of cyclones.
Om Shrivastava, an expert on infectious diseases said that the sudden change in temperature makes the body vulnerable to certain diseases. “People need to see a doctor immediately if they have any symptoms and should take medication as prescribed and not attempt any home remedies,” he said.
BMC has advised people to wash hands before cooking and eating, drink boiled water, maintain good personal hygiene, wash green leafy vegetables thoroughly.
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