Mumbai: The worrying trends point to a sharp rise in the number of dengue and leptospirosis cases between January and July as compared to the previous years' data. As per official estimates, Mumbai witnessed 1,288 dengue cases in the past seven months while the same figure stood at 225 during the corresponding period in 2016.
Lepto cases on rise
Likewise, leptospirosis cases shot up from 106 cases in the first seven months of 2016 to 377 during the same period this year. Other monsoon ailmentsalso registered a 25-30% surge in July as compared to June. However, health officials attributed the rise to aggressive surveillance and underlined that there are now 880 reporting units in the city. Just 22 of them existed previously, they added.
In the last few years, 200-300 average lepto cases were reported, but this year the highest number of patients have been registered in a span of seven months, said a health official. BMC Executive Health Officer Dr Daksha Shah said, “It is important for us to find more cases, provide treatment to the patients so that their health does not deteriorate.”
Monitoring monsoon diseases
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Sudhakar Shinde said they have been monitoring monsoon diseases very closely and have activated all the units from where cases are being reported. “There is no need to worry as the hospitalisation count is very less. We have given strict orders to all the dispensaries, hospitals, HBT clinics and private labs to conduct surveillance and testing across 24 wards and report all the cases to the health department. The numbers have surged owing to such measures,” he explained. Former State Surveillance Officer (Epidemic Diseases) Dr Pradip Awate pointed out that heavy rains can wash away mosquito breeding sites, which is why dengue cases tend to rise in September and October.
Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital senior consultant (Infectious Diseases) Dr Harshad Limaye, said, “Currently, I am treating around seven-eight dengue patients. Though some of them need hospitalisation, all are stable.”
Senior health officials warned that fever, body aches, muscle pain, headache and conjunctivitis are symptoms that should not be ignored, particularly for individuals who have been walking in flooded waters. “Leptospirosis can progress from mild to severe stages, potentially leading to neurological complications such as meningitis, liver and kidney failure, and even pulmonary hemorrhage if left untreated at the initial stage,” said a doctor.