Mumbai: Gastroenteritis and hepatitis cases shoot up in city

Mumbai: Gastroenteritis and hepatitis cases shoot up in city

Doctors said that rainfall, high moisture in air and weak digestive system are the reason of the increa in number of cases.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Tuesday, October 04, 2022, 09:32 PM IST
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Gastroenteritis and hepatitis cases shoot up in Mumbai. | Photo: Representative Image

The number of gastroenteritis cases in Mumbai has doubled in comparison to last year. However, the number of other ailments related to the monsoon is under control, said health officials.

In a detailed report of statistics provided by the civic public health department, this year until September 30, the city has recorded 4423 gastroenteritis cases compared to 3110 in the year 2021. Similarly, in the previous year, there were 308 hepatitis cases that rose to 438 during the same period. However, other illnesses have seen a drop in numbers this year.

On a daily basis, the number of cases has exactly doubled in comparison to the year 2021. By September 30, 2021, only 8 to 9 cases per day were recorded, which has shot up to 16-18 cases this year.

Consultant Physician and Intensivist, P.D Hinduja Hospital and MRC Dr Kushrav Bajan, said, "The common monsoon maladies like gastro, whether viral or bacterial, and hepatitis have been on the rise for the last two to three years. Gastro is not mild diarrhea, but it can cause sepsis and multi-organ failure, especially kidney failure because of dehydration. However, sporadic rainfall and stagnant water are the major reasons for the rise of monsoon ailments. " 

"There are three common reasons why cases are increasing across the city. Firstly, when the rainfall increases, the quality of water gets affected due to it. That leads to a rise in the contamination of food and water."

"Moreover, people like to eat street food during the monsoon, which is the major source of gastro cases. Secondly, high moisture content in the air makes the viruses thrive comfortably and therefore they last longer in water; and third, the digestive system gets sluggish during the monsoon after inadequate hydration," he said.


A senior doctor said cases of gastroenteritis have been on the rise for the past three months. The previous two years saw a decline in cases due to the lockdown and restrictions, but now that most of the restrictions have been relaxed, it is not surprising that cases are spiking. 

"This could be due to several factors, such as the resumption of gatherings and functions where food is ordered from outside, the opening up of restaurants of all grades, or people indulging in street food which they missed during the lockdown," he added. 

Gastroenterologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur, Dr Meghraj Ingle, said that summer not only leads to heat stroke, eye infections, acidity, and dehydration but even gastroenteritis. A large number of people report abdominal distress when the mercury rises.

Gastroenteritis is an irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract, which includes the stomach, and intestines. It happens due to viral, bacterial, parasitic, food, or water contaminated by bacteria, viruses, and food poisoning, and may last up to a week. 

"This infection can also be passed on from one individual to another if someone with diarrhea fails to wash their hands after using the toilet. We are seeing 2-3 patients come with loose motions requiring hospitalisation due to dehydration almost every week. During summer no one should ignore it as dehydration sets in quickly and it can severely harm you," he said.

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