Now, beware of monsoon ailments

Mumbai: Apart from the ongoing pandemic, the city is also reeling under monsoon ailments especially malaria which is on the rise for the last three months. Since the outbreak, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has recorded two deaths where the patients were suffering both from malaria and novel coronavirus.

According to the public health department, cases of malaria have increased to 592 until August 16. Two malaria deaths confirmed by the death committee were also diagnosed with Covid-19. However, other monsoon ailments have decreased drastically compared to last month. Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has instructed private practitioners to provide doxycycline to patients with fever.

A 27-year-old man from G/N ward that covers Dharavi and Dadar died due to malaria on August 3 within 24 hours of his admission. “The patient had developed fever and started vomiting from July 30. He was first taken to a local hospital where his condition started deteriorating further. Later, when he was diagnosed with Covid-19, he was admitted at a civic-run hospital but his condition was too severe,” said a health officer from BMC. Also, the patient was an acute alcoholic which had further compromised his immunity.

Another patient, 40-year-old male from M/E ward that covers Govandi, died on August 4. The patient developed fever and cough on July 25 when he was taking treatment in a hospital in Navi Mumbai. Later, he was shifted to a civic-run hospital in Mumbai on July 29 when his condition got severe. After running a diagnosis, he was found positive of Covid-19 and malaria. His cause of death has been marked as a type 1 respiratory failure with Covid-19 pneumonia with malaria.

Dr Mangla Gomare, executive health officer, BMC, said that every year during the monsoon, the city records the highest number of malaria cases in August and September. “We cannot say that the patients died of malaria as both patients also had Covid-19,” she said.

She further said, community awareness with information, education and communication (IEC) on the symptoms was organised across civic wards. There were dispensaries who offering doxycycline treatment along with other medicines for all fever patients, to minimise leptospirosis and gastro cases. “Activities like daily disease surveillance, early diagnosis and treatment, implementation of immediate control measures, IEC activities, prompt analysis of reports and management guidelines by the epidemiology department have ensured a drop in such cases,” said a health official.

Advisory for prevention of Monsoon Related Diseases

  • As the number of dengue cases might rise in mid-August to September, all precautions must be taken to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

  • To control malaria cases, prevent larva breeding by keeping the premises and surrounding area clean

  • People with history of wading through flood water should consult doctor for prophylactic treatment of Leptospirosis within 72 hours.

  • Keep the surrounding clean and avoid indiscriminate disposal of garbage which may attract rodents and stray dogs who are one of the main reservoirs of Leptospirosis.

  • Inform pest control officer of the concerned ward, if there is rat nuisance.

  • Use gumboots, if possible, while walking through stagnant water.

  • MCGM Helpline number for information on health issues – 022 2411 4000

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