Rise in vector-borne diseases, as rains take a break

Mumbai: The sudden fluctuation in Mumbai weather has caused a 70-80 per cent rise in vector-borne diseases, with more patients visiting the outpatient department (OPD) of civic-run hospitals. Doctors are examining more than 60 patients daily, with most of them complaining of gastroenteritis, respiratory and other ailments.

With every seasonal transition, there is an outbreak of diseases like hepatitis, gastroenteritis, typhoid, malaria, dengue and leptospirosis that is being witnessed, said a doctor.

Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Dean of Nair Hospital, said there has been a rise in patients complaining of cold, cough, fever, headache and body pain, in the last fortnight. In one week, we have seen 65 patients complain of gastroenteritis and 30 to 40 patients with high fever, he said.

With the rise in illnesses, the public health department had set up a monsoon OPD, which is also witnessing a rise in patients complaining of gastro and other illnesses. Dr Hemant Deshmukh, Dean of KEM Hospital said, “we have seen a spike in fever cases of late, along with dengue and malaria cases. Nearly 60-65 per cent of patients have visited the OPD, complaining of high fever and stomach-related problems.

Even though there is a lull in the monsoon for the past few days, waterborne diseases continue to affect many Mumbaikars, necessitating hospitalisation. Last month, hepatitis and gastroenteritis contributed to nearly 300 hospitalisations. In August, more than 400 cases of gastroenteritis have been reported in civic hospitals, said a health official.

Health experts said this monsoon, people have been reporting symptoms like fever, headache, hacking cough accompanied occasionally by a severe headache and muscle pain, influenza, commonly referred to as a viral infection or common flu.

However, Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC public health department, said the numbers are not alarming. Surveillance on a regular basis and early diagnosis and treatment are helping us reduce the number of cases. In case of viral infections, people should visit the doctor, rather than self-medicate.

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