According to figures revealed by the BMC, the number one ailment this monsoon is gastroenteritis, with 2,007 cases recorded so far in July. Typhoid is also on the rise, with 94 cases recorded already this month, a sharp rise in comparison with the 57 cases reported July 2012.
To make matters worse, cholera is also proving to be a menace, with 25 cases so far this month. According to the civic body’s figures, there were no cases of cholera recorded last year. Noting the rise in cholera cases, the BMC has started collecting water samples from areas where the illnesses were reported.
Dr Mangala Gomare, chief epidemiologist of the BMC, said that in the first two weeks of July, 130 samples of water were collected from across the city. “Priority is given to areas from where we receive complaints, so that there is no outbreak. In June, we suspected contamination in 20 per cent of the water samples collected. In July, contamination was seen in 24 per cent of the water samples,” said Gomare.
She said contamination was largely seen in areas like Chembur, Kandivli, Kurla, Matunga and Goregaon. Gomare added, “Health officials are distributing chlorine tablets in these areas to prevent an outbreak of water-borne diseases.”
Cases of hepatitis have also been reported. So far this month, 107 hepatitis cases were reported, as compared to 240 cases last year in July.
Dr Vikrant Shah, senior physician at Joy hospital, said, “The sharp rise in the number of water-borne diseases is due to improper sanitation. Extra caution must be taken with drinking water, and I would advice citizens to boil water before consuming it.”
“This month, we have seen at least four cases of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis per day in the OPD. In the last few weeks, I have treated 10 cases of hepatitis and recently we had a suspected case of cholera after which the patient was shifted to Kasturba Hospital,” added Dr Shah.