Monsoon related ailments slowly picking up in Mumbai amid COVID-19 outbreak

Even as civic authorities are reeling under the pandemic pressure, monsoon related ailments are slowly picking up in the city. According to the civic health department, Mumbai has recorded 158 malaria cases from July 1 to July 12, which means on an average 13 cases are reported on a daily basis. Meanwhile, other monsoon-ailments have decreased drastically compared to last month. However, there were no deaths due to these ailments in the last two months. Health experts said the numbers are not worrisome as it is expected cases will increase during monsoon.

According to the data, the city has 17 gastro cases and one dengue, while there are no leptospirosis and hepatitis cases reported until July 12. However, last month there were 328 malaria cases, followed by 40 gastro, four dengue and one leptospirosis case were recorded.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC said the cases of monsoon diseases are very less in the city compared to what they had expected. As there are less than 50 per cent cases compared to last month, only malaria cases have increased slightly which need to be monitored. “We are prepared to handle patients with monsoon diseases for which a separate monsoon ward has been prepared in civic hospitals. Till now we have compiled data until July 12 but there is a possibility cases will increase further,” he said.

Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean, KEM hospital said each patient with dengue, malaria or leptospirosis is also tested for Covid-19. “Co-infection of Covid-19 with other monsoon ailments is still rare but it is better we conduct testing and rule out the possibility of corona,” he said.

Health officials said "In order to prevent malaria and dengue, the mosquito breeding spots must be in control. There should be a proper system for the water to flow and not get stagnant. Immediate medical help must be taken if the person has a fever. Common symptoms include fever, headache, and joint pain to name a few. Usually, the dengue and malaria case rise during the end of the monsoon season as the climate changes."

Doctors anticipate dengue to rise once heavy rainfall is followed by a dry spell for a few days, which is when the Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding is conducive.

Senior Doctor from a civic-run hospital said they are treating patients with monsoon-ailments but there are no dengue or leptospirosis cases. “Severity of illness is also low in malaria patients right now. We expect cases to shoot when Mumbai sees water stagnation,” he said.

At least 8,000 beds have been reserved for non-Covid illnesses in BMC hospitals to handle monsoon diseases like leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, typhoid, gastroenteritis and cholera.

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