Even as the number of water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid and gastroenteritis has seen an increase this monsoon, the civic body is happily surprised at the drastic reduction in swine flu cases.
According to the BMC, only two cases of swine flu were reported in June this year and so far in July, which is considered as the peak season for H1N1, no cases were witnessed. In July last year, 151 cases of swine flu were reported, the highest number through the year.
However, this month alone has seen 16 reported cases of cholera and 37 cases of influenza. Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said, “Despite the 16 cases of cholera, there is no alarming trend as the cases in the city are just sporadic.”
Speaking to MiD DAY, Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC epidemiologist, said, “Though monsoon is the season for flu, we are seeing fewer people contracting swine flu. Since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, citizens have developed herd immunity protecting them from the flu, which is no longer a threat. Last year, 300 cases of swine flu were reported in the city and five people lost their lives.”
However, the civic body warns that there has been a spate in cases of other monsoon ailments such as gastroenteritis and typhoid in the first two weeks of July.
This month has seen an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases with 1,390 cases reported till now. Doctors say they expect a steady increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases this month as the BMC recorded 1,652 cases in July last year. Also, 57 cases of typhoid were observed till July this monsoon.
There have been nine leptospirosis cases compared to 23 leptospirosis cases in July last year. In 2012, malaria claimed 45 lives and dengue, which has so far afflicted 25 patients this month, claimed five lives.
Dr Vikrant Shah, physician at Joy hospital in Chembur, said, “We have not treated any swine flu patients and only one or two leptospirosis cases have come to us this monsoon. However, in the last three weeks there has been an increase in dengue cases due to the heavy monsoon.”