Flu cases rise in Mumbai as rains continue

In a week, flu cases have risen by 432; doctors say fluctuations in weather are causing the spurt

Erratic rains are playing havoc with the health of Mumbaikars. While flu cases are on the rise, so are diseases such as malaria and dengue.

As per BMC data, there were 2,327 cases of fever in the second week of September, as compared to 1,895 fever cases in the first week an increase of 432 cases. City doctors said that fluctuations in weather tend to cause an increase in the number of flu cases.

Along with flu, malaria and dengue have also been on the rise. From the first week of September to the second, BMC figures show malaria cases have risen by 54, while dengue cases have increased from 33 to 35. Gastroenteritis cases have also shot up from 151 to 201.

Dr Om Srivastav, head of the infectious diseases department at Jaslok Hospital, said that in the last one week itself, there has been an increase in the number of dengue, typhoid and leptospirosis cases due to the unpredictable rainfall. “I have had to hospitalise four patients diagnosed with dengue, and in the OPD, I treated another six patients.

Since the first week of September, we have also had five cases of viral illnesses ranging from upper respiratory tract infection to high fever and diarrhoea. There is no reason for these monsoon ailments to continue, as we are nearing the end of the season. But given the unpredictability of these diseases, we can only wait and watch,” said Srivastav.

Rains likely to stay
The rains are also likely to stay for another week, though we are nearing the end of September. Officials from the regional meteorological department say that the monsoon has not yet withdrawn, as there is still some local wind activity.

“It is difficult to say when the monsoon will finally withdraw from the city, as we will get some indication only three to four days prior to it,” said V K Rajeev, director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). He added that due to moisture in the air, the rainfall has been erratic in different parts of the island city.

This year, in July, Mumbai witnessed the heaviest rainfall (1,547.5mm) since the last 55 years, after little or no rainfall in June. Since then, heavy rainfall has continued to lash the city. So far, this year, the total rainfall received is 2,134.7 mm with 12 mm in the last 24 hours in Mumbai.

The minimum temperature on Sunday was 23.7° Celsius in Santacruz and 23.9° Celsius in Colaba. The maximum temperature was 30° Celsius and 30.4° Celsius respectively. The humidity was as high as 98 per cent in Colaba and 96 per cent in Santacruz. Rajeev said temperature fluctuations are expected due to erratic rainfall.

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