Residents of Ulhasnagar are being given sleepless nights as rodents scurry around nibbling at any and everything they can sink their teeth into, including unwary human beings. Over five individuals, which include men, women and children, end up at the receiving end of these scurrying rodents each day.
Despite a growing number of cases coming to the fore each day, officials of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) are yet to take the matter seriously. The rodents chewed off the flesh from four-month-old Ganesh Kamble’s right arm and left the bones exposed. The child lived with his parents in camp No. 5 at the Sanjay Gandhi Nagar Jhopadpatti in Ulhasnagar and his parents woke up next morning to find him dead.
Most of the 40 slums (jhopadpattis) in Ulhasnagar are spread across five camps and are situated near nullahs. The rodents leave the drains during the rainy season to scavenge for food, when the water levels rise. These rodents often enter settlements and slums and nibble on sleeping children and adults alike.
The Ambadas family that resides in the hutments at Sanjay Gandhi Nagar were terrorised by these furry bandits for three consecutive days last week. Jaya Ambadas (25) woke up to find that a rat had nibbled on her toe during the night. Her two-year-old son Ganesh Ambadas was bitten on the back and hip the next day and Jaya’s mother was the third bite-victim the next night. Fearing for her life and the lives of her family, Jaya who is also diabetic, fled to her native place.
“On several occasions we have raised our voices against the issue, but the authorities are not looking into the matter,” said Feroz Khan, a local social worker.
“It is true that we are receiving more than five patients per day complaining of rat bites. We are treating them appropriately,” said Dr Janardan Nimbore, resident medical officer, Central Hospital.
Need for concern
Rat bite fever seldom radically affects the rodents itself, but poses a risk for those bitten. Though wild rats are usually the carriers, pet rats and other pet rodents have also been known to transmit it.
The disease is caused by one of two infectious agents: Streptobacillus moniliformis and/or Spirillum minus and it is spread through a bite or scratch.
>> nausea and vomiting
>> rash on hands and or feet
>> arthritis, often in multiple joints
uother complications depending on which organ system is infected
The other side
Yuvraj Bhadane, PRO, UMC, said that the municipality is in the process of curbing the menace. “Our health department is active in treating bite victims. We are also going to spray Ratol around areas with rat populations. If the Central Hospital is ignoring patients, then they can complain to the health department and we will take action,” said Bhadane.