Owing to the rise in mercury levels, cases of gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections (UTIs) have surged in the past two weeks. According to doctors, the number of patients visiting the outpatient department (OPD) with gastro problems has increased by 35-40%. Moreover, there has also been a spurt in UTI cases, which are seen in all age groups, especially among children. Health officials said the main reason for the rise in gastro cases is contaminated water, while the number of those suffering from UTI has surged due to excessive loss of water, given the scorching heat.
As per the doctors, patients are complaining of dehydration, stomach cramps, pain, vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. Linking the rise of gastro cases with extreme heat, a doctor from the civic-run hospital said, “In the past two weeks, there has been a sudden rise in temperature due to which daily more than 15-20 gastro cases were reported at the OPD compared to the previous figure of 5-6 patients.”
Youngsters who eat outside food among most affected
Dr Madhukar Gaikwad, physician at JJ Hospital, said young people, who frequently have outside food, are common among those infected. Bacterial pathogens such as salmonella, staphylococcus aureus and escherichia coli are among India’s most common causes of food poisoning. Water and food contamination in hot weather is one of the leading causes of gastro cases, the medico underlined. “The contamination can happen anytime; while preparing food, storing it or even while eating if the hands are not clean, leading to foodborne illnesses. Dehydration in such cases can make the situation worse,” he said.
'Infections related to gut and respiratory system'
A senior paediatrician said any change in temperature leads the bugs to grow in water and food. During such a transition of temperature, infection rate rises. “The infections are related to the gut and respiratory system. The cases are usually seen in children below five years. Good hand hygiene, which is always neglected by children, can prevent the disease,” he said.
Speaking about UTI, a senior gynaecologist said that there could be other reasons behind the problem besides summer. “In general, working women drink very little water as they don't want to go to the loo. Drinking less water and going to the washroom less frequently are the two major reasons (which may lead to UTI). The decreased amount of fluid intake coupled with sweating during summers leads to dehydration, which adds to the issue,” cautioned the medico.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)