Mumbai: Hospitals see 65-70% rise in OPD patients

Mumbai: The sudden lull in rains has led to an unexpected rise in the temperatures causing severe change in the weather pattern. This has resulted in more number of people falling ill.

Doctors across the city are witnessing a sharp rise in the number of outpatient department (OPD) patients visiting them. According to the doctors, there is a 65-70% rise in illnesses like flu, dengue, malaria and viral fever.

Senior health official said, OPD of the civic hospitals have seen an almost four times rise in the number of patients suffering from fever, body pain, cough, cold and sore throat.

“For the past one week, the number of patients visiting the OPD has risen. Of the 650 patients who visit the OPD, around 250-300 have complained of fever, headache and other ailments,” said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, medical director of civic-run hospitals and dean of Nair hospital.

Dr Bharmal said, they have seen patients suffering from constant fever for over three days, with some needing hospitalisation. “The number of patients complaining of fever, diarrhoea, and headache has gone up by 30-40%. Also, there is a 40-45% rise in patients suffering from fever,” he added.

Similarly, patients visiting the OPDs in private hospitals have also gone up by 30-40%, with mostly complaints of viral and bacterial infection. Most of them are children and women.

“Patients with cases related to some severe viral infections like influenza, swine influenza which causes pneumonia and other severe illness have been admitted to hospitals.

These are people of different age groups. Besides, there are patients who have been admitted for gastroenteritis,” said doctors. Meanwhile, health experts say, most affected are children. Doctors have asked the parents to take proper care.

“The sudden change in temperature makes the body vulnerable for acquiring certain diseases. Constant oscillation between the hot, humid and wet weather makes it favourable for micro-organisms to reproduce and multiply.

Some common diseases like typhoid, gastroenteritis can be easily prevented if people avoid eating raw, uncooked and street food. It is ideal to consume boiled water and home cooked food,” said a pediatrician.

Symptoms of viral fever are similar to that of dengue, malaria and swine flu — patients complain of severe headache, high grade fever, abdominal pain, body ache and vomiting for over 48-72 hours. The usual flu medications are ineffective in dealing with this fever.

Dr Om Shrivastava, Infectious Diseases expert, also attributed the rise in viral ailments to the sudden rise in temperature.

“People need to visit the doctor immediately, as the symptoms are quite similar to those of dengue, malaria, leptospirosis and chikungunya. Take medication as prescribed by the doctor and don’t attempt any home remedies,” he added.

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