Early monsoon has led to a spurt in typhoid cases

Jun 21, 2013, 01:20 IST | Anuradha Varanasi

Not only typhoid but dengue and leptospirosis also have doctors in the city worried; the good news: number of malaria and gastroenteritis cases has gone down this year

Despite the number of cases of malaria and gastroenteritis having gone down when compared to last year, the inflow of patients suffering from typhoid this monsoon is a cause for worry for doctors. According to the BMC, the city has already witnessed 40 cases of typhoid in civic-run hospitals till yesterday. Last year, for the whole month of June the number of typhoid cases was 55.

Rain fever: With more patients coming in this monsoon with cases of dengue, leptospirosis and typhoid due to the bad weather civic-run hospitals have started evening out patient departments. Parel’s KEM has also started attending to patients from 3 pm to midnight each day. File pic

Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said, “From the 3,261 beds in civic hospitals that were allotted for monsoon ailments, so far 603 beds have been occupied. From these patients, 336 are suffering from fever due to various causes.”

Surprisingly, the number of cases of malaria has gone down despite an early monsoon. About 1,378 cases of malaria were reported in June last year, but so far only 436 citizens have been afflicted by malaria this month. Also, in June last year, 1,135 citizens were reported suffering from gastroenteritis but with over half of June already over this year, only 472 cases of the ailment were reported.

“The number of people suffering from monsoon ailments, leaving typhoid this year, has reduced. Last year, during this month, 35 cases of swine flu were reported in the city but till June 19, only two cases of swine flu have been recorded so far,” added Mhaiskar.

Though, cases of malaria and gastroenteritis have gone down this month, 14 cases of leptospirosis and 17 dengue cases have already been recorded by the civic body.

Dr Om Shrivastav, consultant physician at Jaslok hospital, said, “In the last one week, we have seen 10 patients suffering from paratyphoid, which is a variant of the water-borne disease. It cannot be treated like the regular typhoid which is a common mistake made by doctors.” He said that the reason there is a spurt in typhoid cases is the early onset of monsoon, and said the only line of treatment is antibiotics. “We expect an increase in the number of typhoid cases after more rainfall,” he added.

Dr Shrivastav warned citizens against consuming meat or dairy products that taste stale as they tend to get contaminated quicker during the monsoon, sometimes leading to typhoid.

According to experts, if fever doesn’t subside within 48 hours a doctor’s visit is a must.

Dr Vimal Pahuja, general physician at Powai’s LH Hiranandani Hospital said, “In the last one week itself, we treated five patients for typhoid out of which three had to be admitted to the hospital.” He agreed with the BMC that there has been an increase in the number of people afflicted with typhoid this month as compared to other monsoon ailments. Mhaiskar added, “To deal with patient load we have started evening out patient departments (OPD) in civic-run hospitals. KEM Hospital has started attending to patients from 3 pm to midnight every day for monsoon ailments.” 

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