Compared to the civic body’s findings last year, the number of gastroenteritis, malaria, dengue and cholera cases so far have seen a downward trend this monsoon
While the heavy showers bring in much needed respite from the sweltering heat and water shortage issues, they also pave the way for monsoon-related ailments.
7,540 cases of fever were reported this July owing to the fluctuating weather and erratic rainfall. Doctors say that most of these were viral fever cases. Pic for representation
However, there has been a change in this trend this year. Recent data collected by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revealed a drop in the number of cases of gastroenteritis, malaria, dengue and cholera this monsoon, as compared to last year, when the number of waterborne diseases like gastroenteritis and cholera were at an all time high.
The civic body’s data also shows a drop in the number of dengue and malaria cases this July. Also, as compared to 44 cholera cases in July last year, only three cholera cases were reported till August 3 this monsoon.
Fever goes viral
Owing to the fluctuating weather and erratic rainfall, 7,540 cases of fever were reported this July. Doctors say that most of these were viral fever cases and though patients were treated on an Out-patient department (OPD) basis, it took longer (five to six days) to recuperate.
Dr Pradip Shah, physician at Fortis Hospital, said that though few patients were admitted for dengue fever, there has been a 50 per cent drop in the number of cases as compared to last year. “Nearly 25-30 per cent of our patients were treated for viral infections. Few patients were admitted for dengue fever, but following treatment, their condition stabilised,” said Dr Shah.
Though the BMC data says there were nearly half the cases of leptospirosis (14 cases) in July as compared to the number of cases in the same month in 2013, doctors say that there is a marginal increase in the number of patients displaying leptospirosis like symptoms. So far, two citizens have succumbed to the disease, which is spread by water contaminated by animal faeces.
Meanwhile, BMC’s epidemiologist Dr Mangala Gomare said, “A 34-year-old man undergoing treatment for chronic alcoholism in Nair hospital was diagnosed with dengue fever following a rapid test and it is suspected the disease caused his death. It is however yet to be confirmed.” In 2012, two residents from the same family in Malwani died due to dengue, raising questions about how widespread vector borne diseases are in that area.